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Spent last week working on Mosaic Bench in Florida again!

Way back in July 2015, I traveled to Safety Harbor, Florida, to work on a 40’ foam bench that my mosaic colleague, Melissa Haist had conceptualized. She hired her friend, Kumpa Tawornprom who is a professional large-scale industrial foam sculptor (works can be seen at Disney & Warner Brothers theme parks throughout the country) to create a curvy 40’ bench outside at Tupelo on 4th (her boutique and art studio).

foam sculpting- creating mosaic substrate

I spent 6 days with Kumpa to encapsulate the bench with wire and mortar to create a substrate for the mosaic to adhere the tile to.

Covered in mortar and ready to mosaic

Three years later, in June 2018, I returned to Safety Harbor, FL to help Melissa come up with a design for the mosaic bench, to teach several workshops on creating large-scale mosaics, and to have the students contribute to covering the bench in tile.

Laying out the mosaic design elements

We made a good amount of progress figuring out the design and started mosaicking the ends of the bench with water elements including a ripcurl wave.

Beginning of the mosaic ripcurl

Later that year in October 2018, I returned to Tupelo on 4th to teach my garden stake class and continue working on the bench. We were able to get the Gaudí inspired sun fabricated and installed.

Gaudi inspired mosaic sun is installed!

I got a lot of work completed on the mosaic ripcurl wave including some cute fish!

Progress on the mosaic ripcurl

Well COVID couldn't stop us! July 2021, Melissa taught some classes on mosaic fabrication and was able to progress more on the bench with the help of her students.

Melissa lead bench progress with help of mosaic students

I just got back from spending a week in Florida at the end of July 2021. We invited our colleague Shelley Beaumont to come and help Melissa and I continue work on the bench. We made huge progress and got about 85% of the bench finished!

1 Comment

Christi Haynes
Christi Haynes
Aug 09, 2021

The bench looks amazing Rochelle! Nice work.

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