Ode to Gaudí Bench
Work in Progress
2015-2021 Safety Harbor, Florida
“Tupelo on 4th Mosaic Bench” at Tupelo on 4th Boutique and Art Studio
Design and Concept of foam bench by Melissa Haist.
Design and Sculpting of foam bench by Kumpa Tawornprom.
Design and concept of bench mosaics by Melissa Haist and Rochelle Rose-Schueler.
Mosaic Fabrication by Rochelle Rose-Schueler of Wild Rose Artworks, Melissa Haist, and visiting artist Shelley Beaumont along with workshop students from Mamas Mosaics at Tupelo on 4th
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). I spent 6 days with Kumpa to encapsulate the bench with wire and mortar to create a substrate for the mosaic.
After a long hiatus, 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. 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.
October 2018, I made another trip out to Tupelo on 4th to teach my garden stake class and continue work on the bench. We got the Gaudí inspired sun fabricated and installed and more work completed on the ripcurl including some cute fish!
Well COVID couldn't stop us! I was back in Florida July 2021. We invited our colleague Shelley Beaumont to come and help Melissa and I continue work on the bench. We made great progress and got about 85% of the bench finished!