Last night I taught the first of 4 2-hour mosaic classes at the Winona Arts Center. I have 7 students, all women. I have provided 12" square pieces of Wedi board, glass tiles, Weldbond, and grout. I also brought in tile nippers for the students that wanted to purchase them. One student had her own.
I started the class with a brief bit about the history of mosaics and some mosaic terms. I then explained some general mosaic design considerations, as well as the various methods of building a mosaic and showed them the examples of my mosaic work that I brought in for them to examine. The students then started going though the books I brought, looking for inspiration for their work. Once they had an idea I had them draw it on the Wedi boards - they are doing direct method mosaics - and select the glass tiles in the colors they wanted to use.
I explained soaking the tiles off of the paper and demonstrated cutting the tiles using the nippers. Everyone thought it was easier than they thought it would be to get good cuts. I explained that with mosaic it does not have to be perfect - it's a fairly forgiving art medium. We talked about the various shapes they might need to produce, how to get curved shapes and thin slices and what shapes to avoid using in their mosaic. I explained that I did not want them to get frustrated with their first attempt at mosaic work.
Some of them got started right away and ended up with several tiles glued down before the end of class, others were being more cautious about diving in. I think that any of them that come to all four classes will have no problem finishing a mosaic.
Only one student cut herself on the glass.
Today two of the students told me they really enjoyed the class and were very glad they signed up for it. One of them told Abelisto that they thought I was a good teacher. That was nice to hear.