Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jungle Mosaic for Pediatrician's Office

The days of taking sick kids to the Pediatrician's office are long gone in our house. Last time I rushed into Dr. K's office ringing my hands was just after my youngest son's college graduation. Austin was getting ready to move to Orange County to begin his first job as a Project Engineer and his sinuses were infected something terrible. Dr. K was kind enough to get him in for an MRI on a moment's notice, which ultimately lead to sinus surgery in Southern California. I was so grateful for his help at the time, I remember looking at the walls and thinking...hmmm...this office could use a mosaic!

Fresh from having finished one jungle themed mosaic I decided it would be an easy project to replicate using a wood panel as a substrate this time instead of a mirror.

Rolling out a slab of clay, I cut the animal shapes out with cookie cutters, then sculpted on top of each animal to give them personality and dimension. Here the pieces are laid out in various states of air drying.
Next I primed a plywood board with Kilnz and made a leaf and flower boarder with the words "Get Well" to sit on the top.

The edges of the board I covered with spackle, then carved a swirly a design into the pink goo with a wood skewer. I'm fond of the spackle that goes on pink and dries white because it lets you know when it's ready to paint. In this case, green to blend in with the leaf edge.
After days of glazing pieces, and firing them in the kiln, I've got my stash of goodies and I'm ready to mosaic the board adhering the pieces with mastic.
Once the pieces are down and and the mastic has dried for a good 24 hours, the panel gets slathered over with a peanut butter-like mixture of Natural Grey grout, which is pushed into the cracks and cleaned off with a sponge. Finished product makes the whole thing look like a breeze, but I'm leaving out some wonderfully messy photos because the last thing anyone wants to do while grouting is reach for their camera.
Have yet to see it hanging up, but hopefully it's bringing a few smiles to the children and parents in Dr. K's office.