I had got all my mosaic stuff out to make a wedding gift for a friend and naturally, Jude wanted to have a go too. To keep him quiet I gave him a small tile and some tesserae (little coloured tiles) to play with. He was watching me snip tiles into shape with my tile nippers and every now and then he would pass me a little tile and say, “Can you cut this down there?” or, “Can you make a circle?” After a while I looked up from my work and glanced over at Jude. I was quite impressed with what I saw – he had made a recognisably humanoid figure with a hat which he informed me was his hero, Puss in Boots. I had been planning to ‘recycle’ his design when he’d had enough but it was so good I showed him instead how to fill in the background around his figure using only one colour tile. He wanted to use different colours but he could soon see that Puss in Boots looked better if he was the only one in red.
When he had filled in his whole tile with pieces (I helped him by snipping down any pieces that he needed) I gave him a disposable plastic knife and a tub of tile adhesive. Jude knows how to spread butter on bread so I explained that he just needed to spread a little blob on the back of each piece of tile and press it down. He soon got the hang of it and I left him to it, carefully lifting each piece and ‘buttering’ it.
After that we left Puss in Boots to dry and then we just had to grout him by spreading lots of tile adhesive all over him and squashing it into the cracks. Jude did the spreading and I did the smoothing off and the final clean up. I think Puss looks brilliant!
Of course, when Cana saw Puss in Boots she wanted to make another mosaic (she made one last year too). This time she wanted to make a unicorn. I thought it was a little ambitious but when she started to lay it out I realised she just wanted the head of the unicorn and it’s shining horn. It needed a bit of snipping to sort out where to put the eye. And then she decided to make some flowers underneath which she did, using fragments left over from my mosaic. A week later we visited Canon Hill Park and Cana showed me the mosaic unicorn that had inspired her design. I had never even noticed it before.
I am rather impressed with our mosaics all in all. I was thinking we could run a mosaic workshop on our next homeschooling group meet. Now I know even four year old boys enjoy it!