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Silverdale students make art one piece at a time

Silverdale Elementary sixth graders hope their community art project will become a piece of the school’s history.

Make that thousands of pieces.

Mosaic madness filled the school’s multipurpose room last week as hands shuffled, selected and stuck stained glass to one of five plywood panels. When finished, the panels will reveal an underwater wonderland with a giant octopus, orca whale and other sea creatures.

The project was coordinated by art teacher Patti Ellis and her students who designed the 6 foot by 18 foot mural.

“It’s a real forgiving medium so every child can be successful,” Ellis said.

Students and their families signed up for a specific time to fill in the fantastic design on Thursday and Friday evenings. Community members were also encouraged to drop in and dot glue on glass.

“I love art,” said Michelle Chance, sixth-grader. “It helps me calm down when I get angry with my sister.”

Chance was part of the “Art Team” who worked with Ellis during lunch recess for eight weeks to help pull this together. They made posters, fliers, helped with the mural and drafted a letter to be sent home three weeks prior to the event.

The team also made a 5-minute video that families watched before they begin the mosaic process.

“Putting the glass (on) so it actually fits,” can be challenging said Riza Ugalino, sixth-grader. All of the tumbled stained glass is irregularly shaped, therefore planning where to place it is key. Ellis said about 240 pounds of glass in 14 colors was used for the mural.

“It’s cool how the little pieces of glass go together to make a beautiful design,” said Katie Klions, sixth grader.

The students spent the past few weeks learning the history of mosaics and practicing the process by creating a paper mosaic.

After the mosaic is finished it will be grouted, framed and hung in front of the school’s office.

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