The design process takes us through steps of exploring options before we start fabricating. We'd like to check grout color, both within the tile and surrounding it; seeing the proportion of a tile on site can give a sense of its impact; understanding what to expect is also helpful when working in a team with a wide variety of skill levels. The
mosaic project is a Matching Fund operation. Anyone from the community is invited to participate in workshops designed to facilitate the fabrication of mosaic tiles. Yoko and I will later on install them on site. Norquay Park
The color of grout greatly affects the way a mosaic looks. In this example the exact same design of tiles is completely transformed when illustrated with three different shades of grout.
It's also useful to get a sense of how a piece might look as its surroundings age. A quick test can let us make decisions relating to priorities ranging from choice of tiles to selection of colors. Three sidewalks of different degrees of wear were shot for this spread. The image of the tile was gently manipulated to illustrate a similar process of aging.
As we are making progress with the workshops, it's useful to continue exploring some of the techniques we will be using with the public. Some would step into work without hesitation. Others will express difficulties with unexpected issues. "I'm too lazy today" I've heard on the first session. Another one can't draw. The fact that they come to this workshop by their own choice puts things in an interesting perspective. The challenge in education is in what others will understand, not what they don't.
Other tests are made on the way. Some are merely illustrations done on the computer. But it's always working with the real materials when results start to give you a tangible sense of what things will actually look like. Even then, the tools we have on the computer help in saving time, money, and resources.
Then it's time to interact with our artists - the kids and other men and women from the community. They come to have fun, but are about to create a legacy for their own neighborhood.