In Grades Five and Six Handwork class, we are constructing piece by piece a stained glass mosaic in a medium of plaster of paris on a base of unsealed flooring tile. In order to accomplish this task, the children, wearing safety goggles and using a roller-wheel glass cutter, learn how to score and break shards of stained glass that will adequately serve as flower petals, leaves and stems. Since the glass must be cut into irregular triangles and quadrilaterals, this work demands some mindfulness and adaptability. Their product of a flower image, however has in the past proved a proud accomplishment.
We began this task by creating paper mosaics of this same image, tearing shapes of color from old magazines and pasting them to cardboard, to reproduce the various grounds of the picture and replicate our image. What seemed up-close to be chaotic, fragmentary activity, irregular shape combinations, and confusing swaths of color soon took shape as a coherent image with great aesthetic appeal - particularly when viewed at the proper distance. Drying and displaying our respective images, we noticed that when the mosaics were viewed at the proper distance, they took on a unified coherence of image and even a dimension of depth that seemed to us unexpected and wondrous. The resulting class display on our bulletin board has achieved an artistic appeal that continues to draw attention and , intrigue us with mystery and beauty.
In our recent discussions in Bible class where our subject is a study of Jesus' miracles, I have posed this mosaic mystery of distance, creation and perception as a way to approach an understanding of miracles. The seed of that idea is settling, I think, and I'm eager each day to hear the children's understanding of miracles as we narrate and discuss the respective readings from scripture.
Wm. S. Hicks