art, art materials, children, creative, death of a friend, kids, mosaic, my photos, suze, suzesque, teaching, work
Last summer a good friend died. We had worked together for about seven years, teachers at a private preschool. She taught Kindergarten and I (still do teach) PreK. Paula was also an artist and we shared a love of detail, a sense of humor and, of course, a passion for art.
About 5 years ago, she and I were asked to hang a children’s art show in the gallery at school. Our school is sort of upper crust, so things had to be “just so,” but with me and Paula, things would have to be “just so” any way because we could both be considered perfectionists when it comes to stuff like this. It took days and days to complete but oh my, it was magnificent. We sorted, we organized and reorganized, we matted, we hung, we conferred, we had fun, we humbly accepted ensuing accolades, and we bonded.
When Paula died of cancer after a long fight, my cohorts and I wanted to do something as a memorial to her at the school. Since she loved all creatures great and small, especially birds, we decided to do a mosaic birdbath in a garden on the playground. I volunteered to do the birdbath.
After my husband and I traipsed way out miles away from home to pick out the perfect concrete birdbath, the director of my school realized that our licensing agency would not allow us to have a birdbath on the children’s playground because of safety issues. I told her I would just keep the birdbath because I wanted to buy one for myself anyway. Here are some images of the birdbath:
Naked birdbath sitting in my studio.
The pedestal is very elegant, don’t you think? Just like Paula.
I picked out the pedestal and basin separately. I don’t know how I’m going to mosaic the edge of this bowl when the time comes. It’s fluted, as you can see. Maybe I’ll leave that part without tiles.
ANYWAY, after the bird bath idea was scuttled, I suggested a mosaic pot for the playground in honor of Paula. We decided to do that and place it in a little corner that birds, butterflies and contemplative humans might enjoy. I literally took at least 100 photos of my process when working on the pot, mainly because I got tired and needed a diversion now and then. But also I was remembering to think in Blog Terms somewhere in the nether recesses of my weathered brain. Here then, Dear Blog, are a tiny fraction of the images I took, proving that I CAN edit SOMEtimes when I feel like it. And I can finish a mosaic piece, which is the biggest miracle of all!
This is the pot–I think about 18 inches in diameter and, what?, 22 inches tall.
Beginning to glue on the tiles.
Moving right along….
I decided to put a white border along the bottom.
Fully tiled…nuthin’ to it!
Beginning the messy grouting process.
Close-up of tiles grouted.
Fully grouted. I used tiles that I collected along with shards from plates and cups provided by other teachers who were Paula’s friends.
WOW! Paula’s Pot is gorgeous! And so much nicer than a dirty bird hangout.
Hi Bare! Thanks for readin.’
This is one of the most beautiful tributes I’ve ever seen. My heart feels like it’s going to burst!