Friday, May 20, 2016

"Life Is A Garden" mosaic mural - St John Armenian Apostolic Church, San Francisco

Last summer I was contacted by a member of this congregation to create a mosaic mural with them. After many months of planning and organizing, three mosaic workshops were held in April and May, 2016. 
As many as 60 people, young and old alike, helped to make grape clusters, grape leaves, pomegranates and their leaves, and small birds.
The design incorporated the beautiful imagery of Armenia: a peacock, grape vines, pomegranates and birds.

The images from the workshops were created on mesh. In my studio I laid out the full-size paper pattern and traced it onto Wediboard, in small sections.

Then I simply adhered each mesh piece to the Wedi and then grouted them, to make the final installation easy for me. Above you can see the finished pieces on mesh, and the paper design of the grape vines.
The studio work took over 130 hours but the actual installation took under 25 hours to complete.
Day 1: I wanted to get the paper pattern onto the wall and adhere the heavy and large tree trunk pieces first. The beginning of a project sets the tone and habits for the entire project, I feel.
Day 2: the tree trunk and the pomegranates were up and peacock and Bible quote were being traced onto the wall. The grape vines had already been traced.
Here I am working at taping up the grape vines.
Here was my basic set-up: bucket of water, bucket of Thinset, the mosaic pieces laid out on the correct order, all tidy on a tarp! Each piece is "buttered" with Thinset and adhered to the wall methodically.
Here are some close-ups:

"Life Is A Garden"
18 ft x 12 ft
Glass, tile, pottery, found objects
Completed 5/19/16
St John Armenian Apostolic Church
Olympia Way, San Francisco