Tuesday, April 11, 2023

time to make the donuts

If you know ahead of time you will be making rainbow sprinkles, you know it's going to be fun.  In this project, I worked with three teachers, and I had worked with each of them separately before in different projects.  I felt like it was kismet that these three ended up in Mifflin County High School and I was blessed to work with them.

I wish I could say that donuts were MY idea but they weren't.  Nobody remembers who came up with the idea but I love it.  Their cafeteria is the perfect place for this mosaic.

I always say that I am amazed at what people come up with for tiles.  One surprise here was a comb from a guy that cuts hair! Never had one of those that I can remember.    

It's so nice to see humans shoulder to shoulder again. When working on a mosaic, it is such slow momentum that it is difficult to see that we have even made any progress in a whole class.  But below, I have a progression of day to day. Keep in mind that this is about 15-20 people at a time almost all day. The first four days were spent making tiles. Then it took two days to grout because we used two colors.  This project was made possible by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, through the Perry County Council of the Arts. I'm beyond grateful.

I am already working on the next mosaic and hope to show you some progress photos soon.  The feature tiles will be dandelion poofs and they were made in four different schools in my area.  Life is but a dream.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Harrisburg Artsfest 2022

Yesterday, I said I was crazy busy and made a short blog post... so why am I here today with another? I had to get a newsletter out to tell everyone about the reveal of this mosaic... and I usually link to my blog for a few more photos.  So here we go.

Harrisburg Artsfest had me set up in a mega tent with Capital Area Intermediate Unit to make tiles with festival attendees.  I had no idea what to expect but it was wonderful.  There were over a thousand people of every age making tiles.  The result of this great community effort will be gifted to the Harrisburg High School.  

By my count, we ended up with 1130 tiles and then the kids in the CAIU camp made almost 100 more tiles.  The goal was to have kids assemble the mosaic in camp but we did not get enough kids to get it finished.  That's why I am scrambling to get done by the reveal date.  There is an open house Aug 26th and at 1PM will be the reveal.  I'd love to see you there.
I will get a photo of it hanging as soon as possible.  The four panels will fit to make the mosaic 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Right now, the yellow and orange that is on the table is finished and I am working on the blue and green circles.  Busy = happy here.  I'm so grateful.

Cornwall Manor

This was a great project that I don't yet have close ups for but its already delivered.  I hope to attend an unveiling ceremony soon and will get some then.  Cornwall Manor asked me to do a community project with their senior residents.  They glued glass together and I brought it all home and fired it to make tiles. The resulting tiles were AMAZING and used in this mosaic that I put together.  I wasn't sure what to expect but it was by far one of the most rewarding projects to date.  Residents apparently had as much fun as I did because they are talking about the next project. I am going to keep this short because I am up to my ears in the next three projects.  Stay tuned. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

I know.  It's true.  I have been remiss in blogging.  For a while there was nothing to blog about then a tidal wave happened.  I'm not complaining.  The above project was finished in February at Allen Middle School.  One crazy thing is that this project involved a record number of 26 students at one time in one of the classes.  

This project was facilitated and supported by Capital Area Intermediate Unit.  I am so grateful and love working with them. In case you worry about me getting a swelled head about anything ever, I included a photo of the entire crowd for the reveal of the mosaic.  Other than the faculty and CAIU representatives, this cool family was the only ones to show up for the event.  Sigh... 

Then right after that, I started the above koi mosaic with Susquenita Middle School.  I've been dying to do a koi mosaic and was so happy the project landed with these cutie pies.  After the record-breaking large class of last project, every class in this project was about the same size!

I wish you could walk past it but I am going to add a video so you can better sense how cool the mirror is in this. BTW, that mirror was donated from Rainbow Vision in Harrisburg to help support our efforts.  This project was facilitated and supported by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Perry County Council of the Arts.  It's always been a pleasure working with them.

Friday, September 3, 2021

weird times

Each of my residencies is unique and offers it's own challenges.  This one involved collaborating with people that I did not even get to meet!  Obviously, I would have enjoyed working in person WITH these people but we dealt with the restrictions at that time, I did get to go in briefly, but most tile making was done at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, by the staff, with glass that I dropped off. 
This mosaic is 3x5 feet and is a different recipe than I have used in the past.  It features the tiles made by participants like in most of my residencies. The part that was different was that I assembled the mosaic myself.  I love assembling with a group, but when I work myself, I am able to do more complicated work than I can accomplish with the hands of 20 glass newbies working full speed ahead all at the same time.  
This art was definitely a "labor" of love.   The project was intended as an artistic outlet to benefit staff that has been on the front lines of the grind through a historically challenging time. I proposed my fingerprint idea as a way to symbolize the way these people touch our community. 

 There's so much personality in here.  I absolutely LOVE when people can point to the part or parts they made... where they were able to do whatever they wanted. Moving forward, I am hoping to find a lot more projects just like this... but hopefully in person.


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Dawson Residency of March 2021

It has been such a long time since I worked with kids.  Dawson School in Colorado was the first residency that I ever did out of my own state.  When I travel long distance, it is a challenge to make sure I have everything because I don't go home at night.  In this residency I was not only away from my shop the whole time, but I had to pack all tools to fly and purchase materials after I arrived. The design had to be adapted to what I was able to purchase.  Luckily, one of the best glass stores in the country, D&L Glass Supply was close by.  This residency was only five days which made things a bit hairy, but then the first day was cancelled due to a blizzard! These guys were fantastic and they pulled it off!
Dawson's was another project based on my favorite recipe.  Kids get to make tiles with few limitations.  Then we use those tiles to make the mosaic.  I was waiting to blog about it because I hoped to have a photo of it installed... not yet.

This mosaic had plenty of mirror and iridescent so it really twinkles as one walks past. I have been wanting to do a DNA strand for years and Dawson lived up to my expectations.  My daughter-in-law works at Dawson and I was fortunate enough to work with her on this project.  Next residency, I will be working with my granddaughter in my own state!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

"monarchs and milkweed" and "fungus and fauna"

Whew! It has been close to a year since I blogged.  I don't need to elaborate on how weird this year was.  You get it.  One would think that because I work by myself from home ANYWAY, my life would not have been affected greatly.  I thought the same.  At any rate... I had nothing going on to write about.  Then all of a sudden, I was so flipping busy that I didn't have time to write. I just finished two mosaics that were a commission for Limespring Oncology.  Each are 3 ft x 5 ft.  As soon as I get a breather, I will do a video of the fabrication of these two.  Well, that's the plan. 

The initial idea started with fungus.  I wanted to do a dead log with fungus on it and then planned on Pennsylvania wildflowers for the second mosaic.  It turned into a forest and a meadow.
I tend to get kind of wrapped up in my work.  In research for my forest mosaic, I ended up with three pet snails.  In research for the meadow mosaic, I ended up ordering a few milkweed plants that will arrive in spring. 

I have already started preparations for the next two projects.  Both will be group projects and each present challenges I have not faced before.  One is in a school out of my state.  I will have to pack and fly with enough tools for 16 kids and wear protective gear as requested by the school.  In the other project, I will prepare all materials and instructions for people that I will not even meet. I will collect all the glass they assemble and fire it into tiles that I will use to make a big fingerprint mosaic.  I have another residency lined up for summer and a small project that is also really exciting.  How can things get any better?!!!!  I'll tell you next blog post.  BTW, I saw last blog post someone commented and I had not seen it.  They said that they contacted me through my site and I did not see that either.  Please feel free to reach out to contactme@lindabillet.com.  I will look into the problem and fix as soon as possible.