Mosaic Dragon

The Artists

My name is Lynda Elias and I have been a working artist and teacher for my entire adult life. Virginia Corwin has been a teacher and is now a working artist. We are Delaware Mosaics. After I create my plan or design, Virginia and I collect materials such as odd tiles and dishes and plan colors together and prepare materials by breaking or cutting them into usable pieces. I learned this mosaic technique, which is similar to doing a puzzle, from Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia artist who is known for his large-scale work on the sides of buildings. When I was teaching I couldn't find an artist to help me create a permanent mosaic at Hayes High School in Delaware and took a workshop with Isaiah when I retired to learn his simplified mosaic technique. We have refined and improved this technique to accommodate children and adults without art experience. Since our first large-scale project on the back of the gallery and bookstore in Delaware, we have finished mosaics in schools, art centers and senior centers.

The Process

Orange Library asked us to create a sculpture using Mythical Creatures as a theme for their reading garden. My favorite creature being a dragon, I submitted sketches of a variety of creatures hoping the dragon would be chosen. We have always worked on flat surfaces and I needed a plan to make our dragon more sculptural. The dragon needed to show motion and I came up with the idea of using an accordion structure made from cement panels. The panels move up and back at different heights to create variety and movement. I created a maquette or model and worked with the library to create the structure. I painted the line drawing on the panels in spring and we began the mosaic on July 5th. Anyone can learn our technique and participate in the mosaic process. Volunteers of all ages helped glue the tiles and mirrors under our supervision. Virginia and I do all the grouting but volunteers enjoyed cleaning and polishing the tiles with socks and rags. This group activity allows everyone to feel good by having a part in the creative process.

Dragon Mosaic

Dragon Mosaic

Dragon Mosaic

Former Orange Branch Library Manager Julie Standish is pictured here with artists Lynda Elias and Virginia Corwin.

To see more pictures of the dragon, click here.