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Memorial Mosaic

Yesterday I was at St. Josephs Catholic school in Bridgwater completing a mosaic  started the day before with the children. It was a memorial mosaic for a much loved learning support assisant , dinner lady and head gardener at the school who died recently.

My brief was to design the mosaic using their school logo, plates of food, children, and something to represent her as a gardener. I felt it would be a bit complicated to include all these things in a mosaic that was only A1 size, so I submitted my first idea to the school which was a cornucopia to represent abundance and nourishment. It seemed symbolic of her apparent nature.

I  suggested  we could also have plates of food and smiles in the horn. However  they wanted the design more obvious with their logo in the centre. They liked my next design and were happy to go ahead …

I made a coloured cartoon to take into the workshop …

As it was a detailed design I decided we should make it indirect. To make it easier for the kids to work on it I split it into 3 sections…

On the first day it was necessary to complete the sections to allow them to dry before installing them onto the board. “What if we don’t finish?” one of the kids asked. “You can’t go home until you do!” I said.

The next day we spread tile adhesive onto the board and layed the sections on, then made sure the tiles were securely bedded into the adhesive with board and a rubber mallett …

Then dampened the paper to remove it …

The next bit was so exciting, I forgot to take pictures!  We very carefully peeled off the paper, replacing pieces that remained on the paper and pieces that fell off the paper!

Finally after a couple of hours we grouted it (still forgot to take pics!)

In the afternoon I mounted it onto the wall.

Close up…

I worked with 40 kids chosen from years 3 – 6 (aged 7 – 11) to make the mosaic. They worked hard and told me some nice things about their dinner lady. You will notice the colour of her top has changed from my original cartoon which was yellow/gold to red because the kids said it was her favourite colour and she wore it quite a lot.


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  1. Great idea! Love your concept of the school projects. Can you tell me how you mounted the final piece to the brick wall? Is this an outside install? What was your substrate? Wedi Board?

    Thanks really enjoy your posts…wanna be like you when I grow up!

    1. Hi M.J , Both the school projects are for outdoor walls. For this one I mounted wedi board onto exterior plywood (to give it strength) . You need special washers for the wedi to stop the screws going through. I made holes in the mosaic, screwed it to the wall and then mosaiced over the holes and screws, so it will be permanent. The Pelican was also wedi but was 2 thicknesses sandwiched together with tile adhesive (to cut down the weight) I attached wooden slats to the back and it was hung with several large mirror fixings,so they can move it if they wish. (Schmoozing always works!)

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