The Work Begins

Several events happened in tandem. I started collecting broken pottery and wine bottles from the neighbors.  I captured images of people I could use as models for a church mosaic.  I drew sketches of a potential mural for the Great Hall.  I started contacting leaders of groups who use our building, both within and outside of the membership roll.  This was going to be a group project!

Lillian and Chuck Lillian and Chuck posed in 2009 for an idea I called “Dancing with Jesus”.

As soon as the mural concept was agreed upon, I started training a small group of church members who were willing guinea pigs to be future supervisors of mural production.  At first, I had them working in my home studio,

Bob and Tom practice andamentoBob and Tom practice andamento- the flow of tile-laying.

A blur of sorting and nippingA blur of sorting and nipping!

Sorting party copySorting party.

I decided to design my long-dreamed of project, Dancing with Jesus, to be a learning project for the Cut-ups.  I made a long horizontal design in order to allow individuals more room to work, which is, perhaps, not a typical approach to composition-making.

I taught basics, then unleashed the group onto my design.  Here is an early attempt to mosaic the figures of the woman and Jesus:

Early attempts at the woman and JesusThe first tesserae