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Sonoma County Gazette
Mosaic Pillar Now Graces Sonoma Mountain School

Mosaic Pillar Now Graces
Sonoma Mountain School

Aug 31, 2017


By Sueann Bettison Sher

-I was commissioned by the PTA to design and make a mosaic for the school containing ceramic pieces that the students would create. The theme of this project is "We reach for the stars while remembering the flowers at our feet". Two years ago, The entire student body made clay stars as well as a few from the teachers. The children were asked to write positive words or wishes on the back of their stars and so the pillars are imbued with lots of great loving energy. The next step was last year I came in and had a few students from each class come and model reaching for the stars while other kids drew what they saw. Then they would switch positions. On this particular day I also had children making clay flowers and lady bugs andbees. My assistant Lily Hourigan and I made many more flowers in my studio.We took the figure drawings back to my studio and enlarged them and turned them into 4ft tall clay tiles. Next step was to make background tiles as well as fire and glaze all the different elements of the design. Once every thing was fired, glazed 2 coats and then fired again, the mosaicing began! At this point my assistant left to travel through Europe and my daughter Annalisa and her love Bonnie became my faithful assistants. We assembled everything in my studio and then installed four pillars with panels on 2 sides. From the point of installation we had many volunteers from our wonderful community join us. After tons of filling in and then mortaring and grouting and sealing, we finished!  A wonderful and arduous job!

-For more information, Sueann's email is Michelle Gochberg, the school principal's email is




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