Italy - Assembly - Site - Studio


The mosaic is based on MU alum Paul Jackson's"Tiger Spot" watercolor. In order to have the mosaic ready for the October 12 MU homecoming celebration, Jackson enlisted the help of more than fifty volunteers from the community along with past and present students from the university.

To accommodate the volunteer effort, the mosaic is divided into 201 sections. A copy of the original watercolor is divided into 24" x 24" pieces. Each volunteer is responsible for coordinating with the volunteers for the adjacent pieces to insure that the grain direction and color consistency is maintained for the corresponding sections.

Volunteers are given a sheet of paper that corresponds to their assigned section. The paper has lines drawn on it that shows where the major color breaks are located. A small 1" square is also provided as a guide to color, texture, and grain direction. Tile selection for the first phase of development is left up to the individual volunteer.
The complex patterns and grain directions sometimes cause tile sections to end in abrupt and uneven ways. Custom tile shapes are ground by hand to create a smoother flow.
The tiger's eye begins to take shape on Paul Jackson's work table. As a focal point of the image, Paul has taken special pains to make sure that it comes out perfect. This Eye alone covers 60 square feet.
The finished sections are placed side by side for color editing and flow control. On average each section has forty hours devoted to it by the time it reaches this point.
After the individual sections have passed their first draft review, they are photographed and placed on the big board for comparison review. During this phase we are looking for color consistency with the overall image and to insure that the overall flow of the tile is working correctly offer the several sections.

Once each section has passed the final review by Mr. Jackson, it is placed in a frame for casting. Sticky paper is applied to the obverse side and the image is flipped. Fine grain silica is pored in between the tiles to maintain their positions and to hold space for the grout that will be applied later.

A custom mixture of Diamond-CRETE is poured in to the frame to set the tiles in position.

Once the Diamond-CRETE has set, the excess is trimmed away so that the tiles in the adjoining sections can be matched. The process continues for each successive section.
Once the section is trimmed out, it is set aside to await installation.

Italy - Assembly - Site - Studio

Compiled by Scott Miller