Pompeii's got nuthin' on us

Friday, August 16, 2013

Art is a subject that I like very much, enjoyed immensely in school, was passable at, but so far have not done alot with in our homeschool.  My girls are fairly naturally creative and enjoy a basket of craft materials as a gift.  Verity seems especially drawn to sewing, knitting and other yarn/wool crafts while Honour is more likely to be creating something with paper and markers.  She's a good little draw-er, she is.

Both the big girls have been out to some art classes a few years ago that I was quite pleased with, but they were in Grimsby, were not held on a regular schedule (just a term of 8 or so weeks) and they were not convenient to get over to.
Then this past spring we signed up for an outdoor drawing class.  We joined a couple other homeschooling families and trooped along the edge of the escarpment in Dundas, drawing and doodling, noodling and sketching, as the teacher directed.
Partway through this class, I saw an email come through the homeschool list about an art fest and my interest was piqued.  I forwarded the email to Honour and she was interested too.  So I signed them up.  We had a good couple of months to create our pieces for the festival and so I kept my mind open to ideas.
Shortly after, Verity's reader was about Pompeii.  She became (rather eerily) interested in all of those casts of dead people; I was more interested in the mosaics.  As well, we'd run across mosaics in our history studies of ancient times.  Wouldn't mosaics be fascinating to learn and impressive to take to the fest?

We started off with a good ol' fashioned trip to the library and took a BOOK (yes, no Google involved!) out on our subject.  It was a rather good book, with lots of explanations and definitions of terms, etc. It showed lovely pictures of simple projects.  We did break out the Google at one point when the book referred to a man in France who had mosaicked his entire house; actually his estate.  Everything from his headboard to the dog house--covered in mosaics!

Next we gathered our materials, after deciding which project each kid wanted to do.  Jairus wanted to do the clock face, Honour a plant pot, Verity a birdhouse and Afton a serving tray.  I found the bases, tools, grout, adhesive and 'smalti' at Michaels, Home Hardware and Dollarama.

Then, some planning on paper.

Some projects needed prepping, like Aftons tray needed to be painted white.  The others needed a coat of sealant to roughen them up and prepare the surface to receive the smalti and adhesive.  We used real mosaic adhesive as well as some thicker silicone for the vertical projects.  Then, the mosaicking began.

Next came the grout.

It was a little scary to glop that grout over the whole thing, but once we started wiping...

The beauty began to shine through!

They were all very pleased with how the projects turned out, and our display at the festival was well received.  The mosaics are now sitting in a place of honour on a shelf in our great room.  What a great experience!


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