This project was smooth sailing compared to the first couple of times I worked with students doing mosaics. I got a great group of kids this year and their excitement for their bench was contagious. The teacher, Reta worked with them to come up with a theme (outer space and Chico, CA scenes on the sides) and then to make handmade tiles to fit their design. They broke the bench design into sections and each group worked on a section. That’s where I came in. I brought in fiberglass mesh and tiles and foam-core boards covered in plastic. They were able to slide their designs under the plastic and work directly over them. For some kids, smashing tiles outside using a hammer and a towel was the highlight of the entire project. Then there was over a week of nipping tile into bags and gluing things in place. Each group took pride in their section and we were able to adhere them all to the bench in one day and grout the whole thing in two hours on Saturday. You know kids are having a good time when they volunteer themselves for messy grunt work on a Saturday!