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This mosaic was created by Bill Hoopes and Gerald Morrisseau and executed with the students at McBride Annex Elementary School in Vancouver. With the help of 82 grade K-3 we finished our 8' X 12' glass tile mosaic in record time. The students placed all of the tiles in just three and a half school days.
The beautiful Italian glass tile was generously donated by Interstyle Tile in Burnaby, B.C.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 1 Line Drawing

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We started with a black line drawing of the intended mosaic based on the students drawings relating to their studies of their community.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 2 Color Pencil

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We then made a color copy of the design defining the tile colors needed to complete the project. The black line drawing is then transferred to 4' X 8' birch ΒΌ inch plywood. In this case three sheets for an 8' X 12' mosaic.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 3 Map Out Sections

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Next we map out the color selections in a sort of paint by numbers fashion. These are transferred to the plywood panels which are cut down into 2' X 2' sections. A plastic layer is then added to the panels to avoid the tile sticking to the plywood and finally tile mesh is laid on top of the plastic.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 4 Glue Tiles on Panels

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The tiles are then glued to the panels following the established color guide. The two foot panels allow us to have students working from both sides of the work surface and make for easy storage in a small area of the classroom.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 5 Nipping

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Although we were able to use whole 1" tiles for the majority of the project some nipping was necessary to create areas where more detail was needed. We find that triangles work well and only require one cut.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 6 Place Tiles

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After only three and a half class days the grade K-3 students had placed over 15,000 pieces of tile. We now number the sections and fill any difficult areas. The mosaic is now ready for mounting.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 7 Grouting

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The panels are all set into the mortar and grouting begins. We use Megalite thin set and Fusion Pro grout. These are more expensive but will weather better. The grout is self sealing, will resist mold and mildew and has great expansion qualities.

Bill Hoopes: McBride Annex Community Mosaic 8 Framed Complete Mosaic

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The mosaic was then framed and the school had their grand unveiling. It is a beautiful addition to the school and the community and is a wonderful legacy for the students of the McBride Annex.