Regular readers will be aware that over the past two terms I have been working with a group of enthusiastic special needs people at the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre. The group, with some others from the centre, have been working on creating a community garden, and the group of people I worked with were specifically concentrating on the sensory garden. The garden includes a bed of fragrant plants and herbs, two bench seats and mosaic pavers made by each participant being installed in the pebble pathway, and a group mosaic mounted on the wall. You can check out previous about the making of the mosaics HERE.
The theme of the project was Literacy and Learning through Community Gardening, a great concept, and after many weeks of hard, and fun, work, the mosaics have been finally installed and the project was officially launched on Wednesday with all the stakeholders present, including sponsors, funders, community supporters, creators, Neighbourhood Centre employees and the range of people who actively worked to create the project, such as my little group. Greens councillour, and now deputy mayor, Belinda Coates officially launched the project with a short speech and the cutting of the ribbon.
It was a great afternoon, and the group were so proud of their achievements, seeing their mosaic pieces within the garden and observing the overall enthusiasm from all the people attending the function. A couple of them even made speeches along with the project co-ordinator Kate Owen.
As well as the sensory garden the overall project also includes a series of wicking beds for growing herbs, vegetables and flowers, so the project does have a long term learning aim through harvesting and maintaining the overall garden. And the added bonus being that as the garden grows and becomes more established it will be a lovely community space that anybody can access for some relaxing and time out.
The afternoon finished with afternoon tea which included a lemon slice which was actually ‘lemony’ – yum! The function room walls were also adorned with lots of photo essays of the project as it progressed and was an interesting and fun way to look back at the development of the project in its entirety.
Personally, it was a great experience for me… I had a little exposure to mosaics many years ago, and with funding from Regional Arts Victoria was able to partake in a weekend workshop with mosaics expert Helen Bodycomb to refresh and refine my skills for the project. Helen remained ‘on call’ for any advise, which was great. Overall, it was a great project professionally, but also personally satisfying, with a fantastic community outcome.
Following are few photo galleries of the afternoon – enjoy 🙂
People gathering in anticipation of the launch
Admiring the mosaics!
They are ssooo touch feely! (this is Helen with whom I did the workshop)
Discussing the group mosaic piece with Malcolm Sanders, Central Highlands representative for Regional Arts Victoria.
And to finish some overall pics of the installed mosaics 🙂
Today, again, I was not in the studio, but went on a little Sunday drive with hubby to Ballan – a sleepy country town only about twenty five minutes from where I live, but which I never really visit. Its a bit like like that isn’t it… places just around the corner we don’t really know very well.
Being a Sunday most places were closed, but there were a few gift shops and cafes open, and it was a gorgeous 25C, so perfect for a stroll. We parked at one one end and walked the circuit. We checked out the gift/vintage/opp shops that were open, but the one opp shop we did want to check out was closed, though I did manage some pics of their front garden! You can see why I wanted to check out the inside of the shop.
We did however manage afternoon tea at a very cute cafe with a gorgeous garden which was great considering what a beautiful day it was…
On the way home we bypassed via local artist Robert McLaren’s studio to pick up the marbled paper I created at a WORKSHOP I attended a few weeks ago, and I must say I was happy with the results now that they are dry. I’m not sure what I am going to do with the finished works but I am enthused to explore this method further, including on ceramics!
So whilst not ‘in’ the studio for today’s Sunday studio visit, I was out and about informing my arts practice, so that counts too – right?
Have a great week everyone 🙂
Hello everyone, hope you have all had a good week.
Just checking in with a quick update on the mosaics project I have been working on for the past two school terms.
The group meets once a week for two and a half hours and we have accomplished so much in this time – a mosaiced garden paver each, and a group mural which we almost finished by the end of the last sessions. Four of the segments are ready to grout next week, and the two will be ready by the end of the next session.
So, I couldn’t resist doing a test run of how the overall mural is coming together, and I must say it looks great and the students were really excited to see the overall effect.
Have a great weekend – and see you for the Sunday studio visit 🙂
Hello all – an update on the community mosaic project for you, previous posts of which can be seen HERE.
After finishing our mosaic pavers for the sensory garden we are now full steam ahead on completing the group mural for the garden – this is a bit more tricky as we have to make sure the separate components match up with each other in the overall scheme.
The group setted on a tree theme, which I then divided into portions so that each student could have a unique input into their segment of the tree – so we have lizards, owls, flowers, snakes and all sorts of gardeny stuff!
It is shaping up to look fantastic!! I a very excited 🙂
Happy Spring everyone – if you are in the Southern hemisphere (which I am)…. if not Happy New Season!!
Sorry, I missed the last Sunday studio visit…. my gorgeous studio companion,Eddy, passed away after a rapid illness – thankfully it was not drawn out and painful… but he is sorely missed. As an artist i work from home so he has been my constant companion, and the house and studio has felt weird without him. In fact the classes I taught last week were the first in ten years I had undertaken without him – so it felt very strange ; for me & long term students alike.
Tomorrow I am teaching at the Ballarat Community Centre continuing on with the mosaics project we have been working on for two school terms, so I will post about that next – stay tuned. Check out previous posts about this project HERE
Talk soon 🙂
Regular readers will know I am co-ordinating a community art project at the Ballarat Neighbourhood House. The great news it is all on schedule – the individual mosaics project is almost complete…. it won’t be long till we move onto the group mosaic mural.
It has been such a great project with the students being so enthusiastic about learning something new within the context of literacy and numeracy.
Here’s some pics of the almost finished work – some pavers have been grouted and need a final clean-up, the others have been cemented to the concrete pavers and will be grouted next week.
They will look fantastic once they are installed in the community garden.
As regular readers will know besides making art which I like to EXHIBIT and designing under my DeeDeeDeesigns brand, I also teach and run workshops in and around Ballarat.
The last few weeks I have been on term break from teaching, but now I am well and truly back in the swing.
As well as running ceramic classes and workshops for my ClayMotion business, I have also been involved in a community gardening project with the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre – you can check out an earlier post HERE.
I am co-ordinating the mosaics portion of the gardening project, and today we began mounting our mesh mosaic designs onto the concrete pavers which will be installed into the garden – there was much excitement, it is starting to become real!!
Stay tuned for further developments 🙂
As some readers may know I am involved in a mosaics project working with special needs people at the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre.
The intention is to create a sensory garden, and within the garden there will be mosaic garden pavers and a wall mural.
It began two weeks go with planting some sensory plants in the garden such as rosemary, mint, sage and thyme.
The following week we researched and chose designs. We transferred them onto larger sheets of paper the same size as the pavers and coloured them with the colours everyone wanted to use for their mosaic design.
This week we began to lay and glue our tiles to the mesh we are using to mount the designs onto the pavers. This is a great way of working because the designs we completed last week can be placed under the mesh and easily followed when applying the tiles.
We are using glass tiles for these pavers, rather than ceramic, because being on the ground in a gravel path they may receive a little foot traffic and gravel debris. If the tiles get a little scratched this will be less noticeable as the colour of the glass goes all the way through the tile as opposed to ceramic where the colour/glaze sits on the surface only.
We will continue laying our design for the next sessions, and then after the break it will be time to mount them on the pavers.
The group are really engaged in the project which makes it very enjoyable – stay tuned for future updates 🙂
Sunday Studio Visit – Workshopping Mosaics
This Sunday I am not in my studio – I am participating in a mosaics workshop in someone else’s studio!
I am working on a project with the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre to create a sensory garden for the Centre grounds. This is a project designed for the special needs group who meet once a week at the centre, and I am the artist on board. My role is to work with the group on some mosaic components for the garden – at this stage each person will create a mosaic paver and then the group will work together on a wall mosaic.
I had dabbled in a little mosaics many years ago, and so a refresher was on the agenda. The Neighborhood Centre was lucky enough to receive a Regional Arts Victoria grant, and part of this was allocated to a professional development workshop.
The workshop was run by well known mosaic artist Helen Bodycomb at her studio at Lot 19 in Castlemaine. Lot 19 is an amazing artspace in the Central Highlands of Victoria comprising studio spaces, an outdoor stage, an art gallery suitable for exhibitions, music, marionette theatre, performance, and film, and an outdoor sculpture park.
The workshop took place over the weekend, with Monday being an open studio day for participants to finish any works without formal tuition, though Helen was on hand for any questions.
I attended the workshop with the project manager from the Neighbourhood Centre. My main focus for the workshop was to nut out the best way to make the pavers with the group… the project has a garden theme, so bright simple designs were in order, with a minimum of tile and/or glass cutting – keeping it simple and straightforward to cater for individual group members abilities and also the project timeline.
By Sunday lunchtime a prototype paver was made, with a few small designs being experimented with, for those unable to complete a whole paver. The design still needed to be mounted on the paver and grouted, but the design, dot mounted on fibreglass mesh, needed to dry first.
So after lunch I was able to begin on a mosaic design of my own. As regular readers will know, most of my sculpture and artwork is organic and abstract, so this is the direction my mosaic design also followed. I decided to work mostly with stone divided up into section defined by rows of glass. I drew my design first and then transferred it to my mounting board using carbon paper. By the end of Sunday I had most of my design and layout completed so that Monday could mostly be spent finishing the paver prototype and then cementing my stone design onto the board.
It was great to have the opportunity to go back a third day and tie up the loose ends. The paver design was cement glued to the paver, but couldn’t be grouted until fully bonded – so I will do that tomorrow.
By the end of Monday I had almost finished my organic mosaic and was able to bring home the extra materials I would need to finish it, so stay tuned for a completed image soon.
And to finish off, some pics of me at the workshop!