Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Vacation - Day "Something" and the Mosaic Pot Project

So the fact I can't remember how many days the kids have been out of school might be an indication that I am a survivor of summer vacation. For now.

Here's our latest family project that we completed. For some bizarre reason I thought we should embark on a simple little mosaic pot project. And by simple I mean lengthy and arduous and by little I imply gigantic. The fact that Wyatt's class in Kindergarten made one led me to believe this should be relatively easy. If 5 and 6-yr olds are able to make one, why can't we as a team?

Meet the ingredients below. They appear innocuous, incapable of bodily harm, but let me assure you they really have unmitigated torture on their minds. Specifically, my torture, which was to be stretched out over two gloriously agonizing days.

So for about $44.00 I purchased the basic materials that are necessary to make our mosaic project-pottery dreams come true, or not. My expectations were that this project would occupy my kids for a good chunk of time, however we know how that kind of expectation usually goes.

Sadly, the broken bits of colored pottery below were worth far more intact than what we spent on the stuff above. This glass wear consists of the various pottery from expensive sources that had met it's untimely demise during the past six years. You know this kind of stuff . . . the hand made Hadley pottery and other one of a kind pieces that have met their early death.

(Plus, I augmented the colors with a few judicious trips to Goodwill, raiding their plates and purchasing the most pretty and colorful ones to break into pieces for this puzzle at 1.49 per plate.)

For periods of time Wyatt "the beast" could be found occupied with smashing colorful plates. Hammers and glass wear are a good combination for any red blooded boy. Or at least at my house they are.

Ella meanwhile was trying to piece things back together.

After enough small pieces of glass wear were generated we moved on to decorating with the glue. Peek-a-boo!

One at at time each piece was placed on the big and small sized pots. I used a rubber kitchen spatula to spread glue then press on the pottery pieces. Later I just used the spatula to add a dollop of glue onto the back of the pottery pieces and then I pressed them on to the pot. This 2nd method better conserved glue. (For three pots we only used 1/2 of the tile glue)

The kids picked out their favorite pieces of broken pottery to glue on their own pots and I only helped to space them around the surfaces.

Momma Bear's big pot.....

Jr. Bear's medium pot.....

Wee little Baby Bear's tiny pot......

We'll just not mention the finger cuts, excessive glue on certain peoples hands, using ones clothing as a towel, and other various "issues" we had during this decorative process.

Day 2 of the mosaic pot project: The next step after the tile glue dried was the task of spackling and the tedious chore of smoothing the gray colored grout into the crevices between the pottery pieces. But we did add a few ornaments to the rim of the pot in the form of beads and tile squares before hand letting them dry first.

Again the kitchen spatula was the best tool for the job. And yes, these utensils have a new permanent job doing outdoor work. The kids spackle-attacked their pots with their bare hands, but since we were "all in" on that portion of the project, no cameras could be handled therefore no pictures... Wyatt jumped in after he was clean to take a few of mom below.

This is where things get a little dicey since there is a finite amount of time to work on the grout before it sets up entirely. The acres and acres and miles and miles of crevice on the large pot required individual attention to fill. And then there was the smoothing of all the edges so the pot would finish nicely. Clock tick-tocking I worked for about four hours non-stop to complete this task.

(After their relatively brief involvement in grouting their pots, my children entertained themselves doing......Uh....I am not really sure what they were doing.)

It was during the smoothing process that I caught my finger on a sharp edge and am still stinging from the jagged cut. I whine....it's really only a 1/4 inch slice but it hurts.....STILL.

Additionally, during the "smoothing" process one must bend one's back in awkward positions to see what needs to be done, and then one must use a head lamp since the day turned into night somehow. But my reward for an aching back is this:

Finally, the finished product after the final hand polishing of the colored pieces!!!

I guess I can check off mosaic pot creation from my bucket list now. Don't think I'll be doing a repeat any time soon. I guess the real question is who was this project really for? Maybe we will have to do it again in 10 years.


Pricilla said...

They are gorgeous but after I tiled my bathroom I swore I would never touch grout again

Sara said...

Absolutely stunning!!! Love them and you guys did a great job. You are a braver woman than I. We briefly tried one of the stepping stone kits. I'm still cleaning white plaster off my concrete sidewalk. Very inspiring though!!! I'm gonna give the kids more time before we even consider trying this at our house. lol

karenscarvie said...

Good job, Mama Bear!

Doris Sturm said...

Sounds like a lot of work (for you) but the end result is really pretty!

Wonder what you will do tomorrow? I bet by the time school starts again, you'll need Club Med LOL

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Well, they are really nice! I bet the kids will remember making those pots forever, and will think of it as a great day with none of the grown-up concerns you were dealing with.

Captain Dumbass said...

Wow, those look great! I'd never even consider doing this with my monkeys, but kudos to you.

Mel said...

You're brave! They did turn out really nice, despite the challenges. i think a lot of our "family" art projects are really for me. A mom has to entertain herself!

The Day the Swallows Came Home

The tree swallows are here already.  They arrived January 30 much to my dismay.  Swooping and calling and chirping their merry song over my ...