After retiring from teaching art in the public schools for 34 years while continuing to create and exhibit her own mixed media works, Delaware Mosaics Director Lynda Elias took a workshop with an internationally known mosaic artist, Isaiah Zagar, to learn his simple mosaic technique. She has developed and fine-tuned this mosaic technique so it can be used in a classroom setting with students as young as first grade. Delaware Mosaics has developed a process that is safe and rewarding for the youngest artists and students without experience or confidence in the arts.
Tiles used for this mosaic process can be made by students or collected from odds and ends of broken dishes, mirrors, and tiles. Other supplies are easy to find and not expensive and the resulting mosaic is permanent, eye-catching, glittering and durable inside or out. Students will learn all steps of the mosaic process except for the actual grouting. Many schools have used student sketches as their mosaic designs. After my assistant and I grout the mosaic, students have the pleasure of cleaning and polishing their effort.
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Recent Feedback From Schools
Our project was a mural created for our town. Designed by our 3rd graders, who study the history of their community in their social studies curriculum, they brainstormed and sketched the elements that mattered and then, after discussing the design with the teachers, a final sketch was submitted to the artists. About six weeks before the project we had a planning meeting. The artists did a fabulous job explaining the process and what was needed/expected on our end. Students, staff and community were heavily involved in donating and creating ceramic items that became part of the mural. The residency itself lasted five days. During that time, every students participated in the creation of the piece, and 3rd graders, our core group, came daily. The last day we walked to the project site and met the owner of that site. During our walk, students photographed the historical elements of the town that were also part of our piece. In this project the arts brought together history, community and beautifying our town in a HUGE way! We are thrilled!!
I highly endorse Delaware Mosaics! After at least 15 years of residencies, this was the best ever! The artists have a high quality product, are extremely well prepared and are great with kids.
Having Lynda and Virginia of Delaware Mosaics work with our students was an unparalleled experience. Students were able to witness what it is to be a working artist, how art can continue to be part of your life even outside of school, and become part of a project bigger than themselves.
Our visiting artists were very knowledgeable in their medium, and were excellent at sharing that knowledge with our students. By the end of each step of the way, I felt confident my students understood what we were doing and why. Both Virginia and Lynda formed a great report with students even in a short amount of time.
This experience really tied our art program together. Instead of being separate classes working on individual projects, we all collaborated to create one large project. The focus on teamwork during each stage of the project really reinforced our key learnings of being a good team player throughout the academic day and beyond.