Friday, 12 November 2010

Mosaic installed!

Mosaic from the side facing the entrance doors

Keith & Dean after days of their hard work, job done!

The finished mosaic from above...

Last of the panels

All the figure panels are up, the kite motifs with the school motto (dream, believe, achieve) are nearly all up

Here come the sun, the last panel! It has a globe of the centre of it to represent the school's specialism in Languages.

Keith and Dean checking over the fixing points.

Now, each of the panels had to get several tiles placed over the fixing holes, there was numerous ones on the tree panel....

Fairly high up work

Upper level install..

Here's the tree panels going up

The install happened on a cloudy October week, here's the tree panel catching abit of sunlight, it will be really reflective in summertime.

Keith checking over the mirrored figure panels

Install.. second layer

The tree piece laid out on the atrium floor, this is the most difficult piecing to get right, afew mm out at an angle, throws all the other panels out. All the other panels are placed in a linear format.

Started with the third panel along, it had a defined matchup line. Here's where the scaffolding comes into use.

Dean and Keith half way along, on the two hills...

The lower level of panels, we noticed shakespeare's beady eyes had a way of following you around the atrium

First panel on! Each panel was fitted with a multitude of special fixing screws, very heavy duty, along with several other fixing methods, just to be extra sure that there would be zero movement.

Here's Dean overseeing Craig's painterly handiwork, pre painting the area behind the panel joints..


Day of the Install, this wall looks rather daunting, despite the numerous measurements, and double checks, theres always the worry will it fit??The install team were D & G Builders and Joiners they were great, and had checked through the plan and wall thouroughly, and knew the exact fitting methodology for this type of job.

Here's the first layer of panels around 8-10 out of 34 panels. The install was during the School's half term break, so there was no worry of any sudden rush in of pupils.

Just checking up where the first panel will go....


Quite a messy job, unfortunately I forgot to take more piccies...

No matter how many pairs of gloves I use, I always end up with atrocious looking hands, the gloves rip, despite cleaning products & nail brushes, this finer type of grout manages to always to get under the fingertips. Going to the shops around these times is always quite funny...

Patch up work, with some extra grout, always afew tiles come loose
You may have noticed a delay since the last few posts, this was due to a technical glitch, or rather me dropping my camera right on its lens. Photos will be all up soon!

A milliefiori E=mc2

Heres the tree panels in my studio corridor, grown a tad too big for it now!

Heres a tree panel after the grouting stage

Tree panels

Heres some of the tree panels, they have the names of the different 'houses' in the school: Da Vinci, Seacole, Pascal, Bronte and Faraday.

A rather small mosaic Mona Lisa

Monday, 4 October 2010

Further panels...

Been a while since the last post apologies, finished off the soil layers, archive panels and green hills.

Town in progress

Heres the additional Town scene and mirrored figures...

One of the Kite motifs in progress

Kites pre grout

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Archive panel

Heres a panel showing some archive pictures pre grout and varnish. The images are from a variety of archives of the history of Prescot, Knowsley and Whiston

Monday, 16 August 2010

Update of mosaic

Progressing along now, heres further photos of the mosaics....

Prescot was famous at one point in history for its clock and watch making history, heres one of the lower sections with a grandfather clock mosaic, the clockface is still slightly opaque with the drying glue.

Heres some of the panels placed together, theyre bigger than my studio corridor now, so only afew of them can fit into this picture.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Archive prints

Heres some of the historic archive photographs printed onto the tiles.

The above photo shows the sun section of the design, it has a globe in the centre of it.
The picture below shows one of the last sections of the lower panel, the circular patterns were inspired from drawings found in the archive, of cross section diagrams of cables, taken from the local company BICC

Friday, 16 July 2010

Green fingered panels

Panels 2 and 3 are quite interesting to mosaic, lots of  flowers and colour!

Panel 2

You may notice gaps with holes in them, this isnt a mistake, its a placing for the screws when the panels are installed. You have to drill a hole, and then use a drill bit called a countersink, this creates a groove in the panel, where the screw head can sit. once all the screws are fitted into place, tiles are then glued ontop, so a nice level surface is created, and no tiles stick up!

Panel 3

A bluebell detail - the area was known for having a bluebell woodland a fair while ago.
Also, a ladybird as requested by one of the school staff during a consultation session.

Section from panel 3 - note the tile nippers at the top right of the picture, these are called rotary nippers, they are a specialist mosaic tool, and are a well guarded secret by most mosaic artists. They cut glass 10 times better and straighter than any standard pair of tile nippers you'll find. I would say they are the most important tool I use out of all my equipment!

Giant jigsaw

Here's part of the tree panels, part way through cutting out.

The panels are cut, here they are waiting to be sealed and primed, there is around 34 of them, they are pretty big. Quite like a giants jigsaw puzzle!

This is the starting point for the first panel, its at the bottom left of the design, heres a mosaic in progress:

Design historical references

Heres some historical info about the mosaic references - click on the picture to open a larger window

Archived photographs

Prescot Grammer school

Met with the local hisorical society at Prescot museum, they were really helpful, with lots of information about the area. I will be using images and printing them onto tiles, which will then be embedded into the mosaic. So people will see how areas used to look, old buildings that no longer exist etc. Prescot grammer school for instance has a 400 year history!!

Photograph of the Earl of Derby 

Workshops & consultations

Workshops - Pupils Designs

Over 120 pupils worked on a variety of designs, aswell as developing paper mosaic designs for the project. Here are some images of pupils work from the design sessions.

4 classes were involved, and their designs and ideas led to the creation of the final design.

Mosaic Workshops

Over 120 pupils also learnt how to create a mosaic, each making their own individual design. Some pupils also worked on mosaics that are going to be embedded into the final mosaic.

             Coaster designs pre grout       Coaster designs finished              


As the school also serves the local community, it was important to get information and opinions about the final design and what should feature in it. Several consultations were held during school open days and parents evening. Lots of information was collected, with some visitors hidden gems of local knowledge!


Some suggestions....