After a year of studies in Spilimbergo, this summer for the first time I have assumed a new role: giving mosaic courses for children and adults. How it feels? After 2 months of teaching at Babylon Mosaic it is time to take stock and look back a moment.
In the beginning it was strange, after a year of studies in Spilimbergo, to teach mosaic making to others. I was so used to get instructions and observe my teachers when working. It was therefore necessary to empathize with the students and ask myself:
What kinds of difficulties did I have in the beginning regarding cutting, materials and tools?
What was helpful?
What did I have to pay particular attention to?
Prepared with some answers in mind, off I went, teaching Roman (direct) method to adults. And I have to say: the students’ results after a few hours of practice (12 hours to be precise) with hardie and martellina are just marvellous!
The children of course use mosaic pliers to cut glass, and decorate small objects with their mosaic. A wooden box, for example, or a mirror. Although there are certain rules, of course, no one will be forced to follow andamenti :-). On the contrary, we encourage the children to try out what they like. The wealth of forms and combinations of materials and colors is amazing and extremely rewarding.
About instinct and expectations
What fascinates me most is the different approaches students of various ages have. A 6-year-old child just follows his instinct for color and shape selection. A 12-year-old already hesitates, looks around: what do the others do? Is that correct? Finally an adult sometimes stands in its own way. He may have high expectations of himself and gets frustrated if the cutting or laying doesn’t work right away. To satisfy the different expectations and lead the students to great results is a challenge that I really enjoy.
The sparkle in the eyes
Teaching requires great tact. To motivate, sooth, support, improve without intervening too much is a sensitive issue. Each student is unique – just like his way of working and his needs. The wonderful thing is: you get a lot back. To see the enthusiasm in the face of the students while choosing the material, using hammer and tongs, when combining the colors, to see the pride in their eyes when they evaluate the final result of their work and the many ideas and approaches is simply amazing.