Tools for Creative Placemaking
Mosaicing Sculptural Forms: Fantasy Mosaic Bench
From Design to Creation

With Laurel True

October 13 - 16, 2016

4-day Intensive
Thursday - Sunday, 9 am- 5 pm
Cost: $595 

Join public artist Laure True for an action-packed, inspiring workshop during which students will work together to cover a sculptural bench with colorful, precision mosaics using ceramic tile, glass and mirror.
Laurel will design the mosaics for the bench using her colorful, vibrant style. Students will learn to work with exterior-grade ceramic tile, thicker glass and mirror to cover the fantastical form with fantastical mosaics.

Class first focuses on designing for sculptural forms, with hands-on exercises aimed at helping students become more comfortable with the design process itself so they feel armed and ready to tackle designs for their own unique projects. Students will get a behind-the-scenes peek at Laurel’s sketches, maquettes and proposals for public mosaic benches and sculptural forms she has created, and see the steps she takes in building up a design for presentation, or to use as a map during mosaic creation. Discussion will include approaching mosaic design for specific environments, uses and methods of creation. For example, a sculptural form that will be created as a community project with untrained volunteers needs to be approached in a specific way for ease of creation, safety and durability. Workshop will continue with information on sourcing beautiful and appropriate materials for exterior, sculptural forms and what NOT to use.  

Laurel will offer unique lessons on precision cutting and setting for mosaic, including honing, shaping and carving tile, various setting styles, and combining materials to create exciting effects. Students will experience working with different methods of mosaic creation, including working directly on the bench form, learning how to set mosaic in the direct, vertical method, and experimenting with off-site creation techniques for mosaic elements to be included in a larger design.  Mosaic setting lessons will include precision setting, repeat patterning, use of grout as design element and background and field setting.  Laurel will guide workshop participants in grouting the mosaic bench, offering specific techniques that result in a professional-looking and durable mosaic bench or sculpture. The workshop will culminate with the unveiling of a glittering, colorful mosaic bench that will reflect the vibrancy of New Orleans.

This is a great opportunity for students to work as a collective team, share space with other mosaic enthusiasts and create a fabulous piece of public art.

Students should be prepared to work on the ground for part of the workshop, as the bench will be in-situ. If this is impossible for any student, accommodations can be made.

There will be an informal, no-host meet-and-greet at the end of the first day of the workshop, and an optional group dinner on Saturday, October 3rd. 
Students coming from out of town, can visit our Visitor Information page for information on accommodations and activities outside of workshop.

Workshop also includes

    •    Inspiring presentation of sculptural mosaic benches and forms around the world
    •    Lessons and examples of various design development techniques for mosaics on sculptural forms
    •    How to make sure a sculptural form is suitable for mosaic and prepped correctly.
    •    All about thin-set, geek-out on which cement-based adhesives are great, and not so great
    •    Tricks for working with curves and architecture of sculptural forms
    •    Precision setting for professional quality and safety
    •    How to deal with edges and corners
    •    Laurel’s picks for where to source colorful, exterior grade tile
    •    Choosing the right grout color for design and environment
    •    A great experience!

Min 6 students, max 10 students
Minimum must be met by August 8, 2015 for the workshop to run...Sign up early!



About Laurel True

Laurel True is an artist, educator and community builder based in New Orleans. She has been creating architectural and public mosaic art for almost 25 years. She works with ceramic tile, glass, mirror and recycled building materials such as brick, concrete and asphalt to create mosaic murals, sculptural forms and park furniture for public, commercial and residential settings.

She received her BA from University of Wisconsin in African Studies and has studied at Studio Arte del Mosaico in Ravenna, Italy, Universite Chiek Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, Parsons School of Design and the Art Institute of Chicago.  True is the co-founder of the Institute of Mosaic Art in California and has fostered education in the mosaic arts through teaching and lecturing around the world. She has lectured and taught internationally for the past 20 years. Her vibrant public and commissioned projects, created through her company True Mosaics Studio, can be found in civic collections, hospitals, parks, and neighborhoods around the world.

True is the Founding Director of The Global Mosaic Project, an organization that creates community-based artwork and provides art education and entrepreneurial training to underserved communities in urban environments and developing areas. She has created and facilitated hundreds of projects over the last two decades, training thousands of project participants, students, apprentices and volunteers in the US, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Haiti.

True sits on the Advisory Board of Art Creation Foundation For Children in Jacmel, Haiti, where she also serves as the the Director of the Mosaique Jacmel Program and the Studio Program for Professional Development. True is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, Community Built Association, National Association of Art Educators, Americans For the Arts, Global Alliance for Arts in Healthcare, and the Haiti-New Orleans Heritage Task Force.