Paper Mosaic With Alice Smith’s Inspiring 6th Graders

When the amazing Tamara Gebhart (Speech Therapist and Counselor Extraordinare) asked me if I could teach paper mosaic to 6th graders, I said “Of course.” During an incredible six-month journey we worked with the graduating 6th graders at Alice Smith Elementary who designed and then created an inspiring mosaic mural that they gave to the school. Each of the 90 6th graders worked on it, from the planning stage to the final insertion of the “fiddley bits,” the tiny paper tiles that they had created. This mural incorporates flags from their countries of origin (27)  and their dreams for  (science, technology, sports, art, and more). They also included four sentences that inspired them:  In a mosaic, each of the pieces looks better because of the color of the pieces surrounding it. Each of us can be better because of the people around us. This is our dream. Teamwork makes the dream work.”

I am available to teach paper mosaic tile and mural making. Contact me at susangainen@comcast.net.

Mosaic Mural by Alice Smith 6th Grade 2017
Mosaic Mural by Alice Smith 6th Grade 2017

Paper Mosaic for Creatures & Neighborhoods

Early in my life as a watercolorist, I understood that conscientious watercolor painters used leftover paintings to create paper mosaic. What a great idea. It saved space, and made me feel virtuous. I cut out paper tiles, glued them to paper, and covered each piece with Golden Self-Leveling Clear Gel to create creatures.

 Paper Mosaic Creatures

Multi-Colored Paper Mosaic Parrot 2
Multi-Colored Paper Mosaic Parrot
Green Paper Mosaic Parrot
Green Paper Mosaic Parrot

 

Paper Mosaic Purple Mosaic Parrot
Purple Paper Mosaic Parrot

 

 

Left to right: Paper Mosaic Horse, Paper Mosaic Cat, Paper Mosaic Hippo, Paper Mosaic Pig. Each is featured in The Small Friends’ Chronicles, a 70-page compendium of whimsical creatures’ portraits and stories.

 

Not-ceramic Tile: The Pigs Made Me Do It

Flying Pigs' World Headquarters
Flying Pigs’ World Headquarters

I abandoned all activities requiring safety equipment or liability waivers on my 60th birthday. Thus, tile cutting, glass blowing, and bungee jumping were removed from all of my bucket lists.

When I installed the first Flying Pigs World Headquarters at a WARM exhibition, people asked if the pigs were ceramic. “No, they are paper.”  The pigs gave me permission to create tile covered with acrylic paint and mediums, and opened the door to the Paper Mosaic Neighborhoods. Each piece looks better because of the pieces that surround it.

Some paper mosaic neighborhoods

 

Neighborhood 42 Minnesota Art Bonanza state
Neighborhood 42: every piece looks better because of the pieces that surround it
Paper Mosaic Magnets
Paper Mosaic Magnets
Black and White Neighborhood
Black and White Neighborhood
Yellow Paper Mosaic: half inch squares
Yellow Paper Mosaic: half inch squares
Another Yellow Paper Mosaic
Another Yellow Paper Mosaic
Orange Neighborhoods 1: Paper mosaic
Orange Neighborhoods 1: Paper mosaic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Paper Mosaic 2
Black Paper Mosaic 2
Blue and red paper mosaic
Blue and red paper mosaic
Orange 4-inch square magnet mosaic
Orange 4-inch square magnet mosaic
Purple Paper Mosaic
Purple Paper Mosaic
Tiny yellow paper mosaic
Tiny yellow paper mosaic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black and white paper mosaic work in progress
Black and white paper mosaic work in progress
Black and white paper mosaic mirror
Black and white paper mosaic mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota map paper mosaic: Commission your state's image
Minnesota map paper mosaic: Commission your state’s image

 

 

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