Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Bunny Room Mosaic Mural Installation

I just finished a mosaic that I am particularly proud of.

It is a mural in the Bunny Room of the Oakland Animal Shelter,
1101 29th Avenue in Oakland's Jingletown district.
Marcy Schaaf, the founder of Save A Bunny, a non-profit rabbit rescue organization
based in Mill Valley, CA, was given the project of creating a nicer space in the room
for the rabbits, volunteers and visitors to enjoy.
Rabbits are often overlooked when people are seeking to adopt a pet.
They are an animal near and dear to Marcy's heart and she works
tirelessly on their behalf.

Here you can see that the bunny room was not very pleasant.
It had been used as a storage room until very recently.
I started by checking out the space and designing a shape that would be cool and pleasing but also one that I could carry out and install by myself.

I came up with a ribbon design festooned with hopping rabbits.
Above is the mock-up.

Marcy is also a mosaic hobbyist and has a LOT of extra tesserae at her home.
I went there and chose a loose color palette that I knew I could work with.

Next I cut the rabbits out of Easyboard and mosaicked them with glass and mirrors in a patchwork style.
The ribbon itself was done in tile on mesh in my studio.

Mural painter Gael Antognini - - first painted the wall
with a faux window treatment and a little rabbit near the floor which you can't see in this photo.

That meant I had to take great care to cover the entire wall before grouting.
Even then, I still had to do touch-ups to the paint job afterward.
I left my grout color decision until the end. As I was installing this I realized that one grout color wasnt going to work. So I ended up using three different ones - a bright red for the ends,

darker red around the maroon/purple tiles

and a modified dark blue for the center blue tiles.

These blue tiles in the center are actually made of glass. They are a blue color with flecks of gold and are very bumpy in texture. After I chose to use them I realized, uh oh, the grout is going to get caught in all that texture!

So I used a small wire brush to clean them off after grouting.
All the grout didnt come off so each is left with an even more interesting color gradation.

This mural came out really well.

It measures 15 feet by 2 feet, approximately.
I know it will please visitors and bunnies alike.


Lori D said...

Kim, this is so special! I Love the bunnies and the graduating colors. What a wonderful piece for the animal adoption center!

Me said...

It's beautiful - such great work - and a great idea. I'm sure they'll love it every day!

Doreen said...

It's wonderful Kim. Bravo!

graceblowers said...

Kim, this is just absolutely delightful! And with Easter just around the corner, maybe it will give people pause before they go getting a "cute bunny" that will soon become an unwanted rabbit. I always had a pet rabbit as a kid, housetrained it to the kitty litter box and everything. What you are doing here is a great thing. The mosaiced bunnies are very good! grace

Stacy Alexander said...

Kim, it was so kind of you to donate your time and energy to this worthy cause. That aside, your skills in both designing and creating this beautiful piece are awesome! I'm sure Marcy and everyone at the shelter will be eternally grateful to you for what you have done for them. Way to go!


Nita said...

Wow! I love this Kim. As always, it's just incredible how you've used all of the different colors for shading, etc. You are amazing!!

RosL said...

What a lovely thing you did. It gives a great feel to the room and must be uplifting for the people who work there. I hope it encourages potential adopters to take more notice of the rabbits who need good homes.
Good wishes from England.

One Love said...

your work is beautiful!

Anne said...

I'm one of the rabbit volunteers at the shelter, and we absolutely adore the mosaic work! We get compliments on it all the time. It is really a gorgeous piece of work, and really livens up the rabbit room! It is inspiring us to make more changes to make the room a more beautiful place to be.