Friday, 24 May 2013

The Italian Experience - Mosaics

When we look into the traditional art associated with Italy, the one that we come across the most is mosaics.  I wonder whether this is due to the influence of the Roman culture, which is also our main association to mosaics.

We started off our exploration of mosaics with a set of puzzles that Tiger had used when he was a preschooler.  Following last week's land and water forms exercise (also from his preschool days), we seem to be feeling rather nostalgic lately.  Maybe it's because the academic year is coming to a close soon and I am feeling more reflective about what we have done so far.

Once Tiger has the hang of forming a mosaic picture from the above exercise, I wanted us to make one out of paper.  To get our design inspiration from real mosaics, we went to look the V&A.  The V&A prides itself as a design museum, so everything in it is filled with ideas for designers.  We had a good look at the different patterns on its mosaic floors as well as a few more modern mosaic portraits on the wall.

 At home, we proceeded with our paper mosaic project.  We cut an A4-sized white card into two to use as our base.  Then we each sketched the outline of our designs using pencil before filling the designs in lightly with coloured pencils.  This is to help us plan where the colours go.

Tiger's design

My design

We gathered all the coloured craft papers we needed, measured and drew 1cm squares on each and cut them up with a pair of scissors.  The coloured paper tiles were put in plastic trays by colours for ease of use.  Then we glued each paper tile onto our designs carefully, one colour at a time.

The paper mosaics took a while to complete but it was a fun exercise.

Finally, I gave Tiger a mosaic tile set that I bought from a craft shop.  The set came with ready-cut tiles, a wooden base, ready-drawn design, and grout.  All Tiger had to do was to assemble it.

Tiger actually prefers to make his own paper mosaic rather than to use the ready-made set because:
1) he prefers to draw his own design, and
2) the tiles in the set are all standard 1cm squares, and we cannot cut the tiles easily without making a mess and breaking them.  The inability to cut the tiles results in a less refined finish.

This post is linked up to:
  1. Look What We Did!
  2. Virtual Refrigerator
  3. May Culture Swapper
  4. Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #4
  5. History and Geography Meme #75
  6. Hobbies and Handicrafts - May 24
  7. Homeschool Mother's Journal: May 24, 2013 
  8. Homeschool Review
  9. Collage Friday - Time for Nothing and an Exciting Something
  10. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One at NCHE
  11. Hip Homeschool Hop - 5/28/13


  1. What a thorough study! I smiled when I read Tiger prefers to do his own design. Typical home schooler....!

  2. Yes, we're not used to being limited.... :-)

  3. We did a similar project and I was surprised by how long it took to complete. Tiger must have been into it or has an excellent attention span to finish. I love the face.

  4. I think the trick to having a child complete a piece of mosaic is to keep it small. We did ours on A5-sized cards, which is half of a standard sized piece of paper. :-)

  5. That is a great study. I love the hands on projects.

  6. I love all your designs! You really do study things comprehensively. Very helpful - thank you :-)

  7. Beautiful! I should try this with my kids.
    Here from the Hop.

  8. What a great project! That takes a lot of coordination to be able to make one of those! Thanks for sharing at the Culture Swapper.

  9. Another lovely post - my girls are in preschool and were recently given a magnetic mosaic picture maker. I'll have to remember to hold on to it for when they are older and we study Italy. Thanks for linking up the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop.

  10. Beautiful mosaics! Thanks for linking up at the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #4!


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