Monday, May 27, 2013

Grout Grout Grout!

Our mosaic making workshop was fun and productive. Seven people made eleven mosaics at Gateway Ranch for the Temple of life. Royce set up a couple of 10' x 20' shade structures in front of the straw bale building. Tables and chairs were brought out and several crates and boxes of mosaic supplies were laid out so the participants could easily pick their favorite bits to put into their mosaics.

The weather was perfect on Saturday as we used thin-set mortar to attach broken tiles, dishes, stones, glass, mirror and metal onto pre-cut boards. Jana, Bill, and Royce made two mosaics each and Mark, Laura, Matt, Richard and Owen each laid out one mosaic.

We worked until nearly dark, had a wonderful pot-luck dinner and then all of us watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail later in the evening. Several of us knew many of the lines from the movie. It was fun.

Sunday we got a bit of a late start on grouting the mosaics. We had just gotten half to two-thirds of the way through the grouting process when a big wind came up and started to tear the shade structures apart. We had an emergency mosaic evacuation out from under the shaking shade structures and then proceeded to take the shade down so it all wouldn't be ruined by the escalating wind. We managed to finish grouting the mosaic that we started even though we were now exposed to full sun and the wind.

Those of us who made more than one mosaic had to postpone the grouting of our second mosaics to another time. Jana and Bill finished their grouting that evening - easy since they live there. Royce took his second mosaic home and will probably grout it tomorrow.

All the mosaics are awesome! It is great to see the diversity in design and vision represented. Once the last mosaics are grouted, we will have 23 of the 24 mosaics needed for the panels on the outside of the Temple of Life. The last mosaic needed will be created collaboratively by Bill and Jana. We will install them at our next work party which will be held June 29-30th.

There is a lot of space on and in the temple for assemblage art, including mosaic if people want to use that technique. Bill has measured all the walls inside the temple so we can make a map of the panels needed to decorate these walls. We have decided to drywall the upper part of the central tower so we can glue pieces of mirror onto it. The mirror will be applied so as to look like fat organic branches or waves. The idea is that the mirrors will reflect the light from the skylight and upper windows so as to create an infinite light effect as you look up. Around the "mirror branches" there will be space for gluing all sorts of assemblage materials.

We also discussed the roofing for the four wings that surround the central tower. It was decided that we should just buy metal roofing since it is really important to have good solid materials to keep the rain and snow from leaking in.

As mentioned above, the next work party will be June 29-30th. The plan is to put on the metal roofing, put the drywall on the upper inside walls, and run some wiring inside the walls so there can be electrical outlets for interior lighting. We will also attach all of the mosaics that we made at the two mosaic workshops. We have scheduled the July work party for July 13-14.

The temple belongs to the community that builds it. This is YOUR temple. Come on up and help! Many hands will make it go quickly.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mosaic workshop at Gateway Ranch

Come to the Temple site at Gateway Ranch and make mosaics for the Temple.
Here are the details:
Mosaic Workshop with Royce Carlson - May 18-19, 2013 at Gateway Ranch, AZ.
10AM to 4PM Saturday May 18, and 
noon to 4PM on Sunday May 19
Where: Gateway Ranch - about 30 miles northeast of Flagstaff, AZ. Directions are here:
Donation requested to cover cost of materials: $15
We only have room for 12 participants so please email us to sign up. Send your R.S.V.P. to and tell us you are coming. It will be first come first served. It will take both days to make your mosaic so please be sure you can come for both Saturday and Sunday.
The purpose of this workshop is to create mosaics for the Temple of Life, a large-scale art project at Gateway Ranch near Flagstaff, AZ.  Sculptor, Royce Carlson, is coordinating this project which will be encrusted with art created by many different artists. Participants are expected to donate one of their mosaic pieces to the Temple of Life.
Nita and Royce are both donating their time (and some of their groovy found mosaic materials) to this project.  Mosaics will be sized at approximately 18” x 20” for the temple. Depending on the complexity of your mosaic design, and if you tend to work quickly, you may have time to make a smaller mosaic to take home. Remember, your real “take home” will be the knowledge and confidence to do mosaic on your own, and that your artwork well be included in a really cool project.
Your donated mosaic will become a permanent part of the Temple of Life and we will make sure you get recognition for your mosaic at the Temple, itself, and on the Temple of Life web site.
On Saturday we will layout our mosaic materials and attach them to cement board using thin-set.  On Sunday afternoon we will grout our mosaics.
Wear clothes that you can get dirty and close-toed shoes.
Bring mosaic materials – broken dishes, cups, pieces of tile, glass, durable metal objects, small stones, marbles, and any other small, very durable objects that you would like to out into the mosaic.
Bring your lunch.
Also visit the Temple of Life Facebook page at
Remember, RSVP to roycenita@gmail to sign up for this mosaic workshop