Ice Pie

  • ‘Ice Pie’ is a 6’ tall by 14’ 4” wide mosaic.
  • It is affixed to a tile wall of the gymnasium foyer inside Cumberland Elementary School, West Lafayette, IN.
  • Special filters on the lights above help the colors not to fade.
A small percentage of the glass Tesserae I created with help from the students at Cumberland.
  • It is made up of thousands of tiny glass glob-all pieces, each with an image from nature adhered behind it so the image is visible through the clear glass piece. To our knowledge, this technique of incorporating images may not been tried before in a mosaic.
A close up photo of the date area before grouting the mosaic.
  • If you stand close to ‘Ice Pie’ you will see the image in each individual piece. You will see people, trees, flowers, animals, mountains, rain clouds, snow flakes, thousands of tiny images. Every image or word refers to the natural world that surrounds us. Taking a smaller piece of our beauty-full pie leaves enough for others.
The crossword I designed incorporating the school’s ‘good citizenship’ words with handmade porcelain letter tiles, went up first, and the glass tesserae went up around that.
  • Embedded within ‘Ice Pie’, on handmade ceramic tiles in a crossword layout, are Cumberland’s Life Skill words. Curiosity, integrity, pride, patience and friendship reflected some of our shared experiences with the students. Cooperation, organization, effort, perseverance, flexibility, problem-solving and sense of humor played important roles in our mosaic-making process. Caring, initiative, courage, common sense, responsibility, and resourcefulness are necessary values to teach for our planet to survive.
Nearly finished, without grout. All of the K-3 grade Cumberland Elementary School students helped to make the tesserae (found nature images under glass). (Artist included for scale.)
Close up of the mosaic before the grout was added.
  • From afar, ‘Ice Pie’s concentric elliptical rings may resemble the path of the planets orbiting the sun or the rings of Saturn. Some Cumberland students have observed that ‘Ice Pie’ looks like a giant eye, while others see a large icy pie in the sky or the earth surrounded by atmosphere and space. Some may see an overpopulated planet bursting under pressure, or rays of hope for our greener future.
  • It’s a fact that the issue of climate change needs to be addressed. What better place to start this conversation than in the minds of young students? ‘Ice Pie’ touches on this theme in a fun and interactive ‘I Spy’ way.
  • The idea behind ‘Ice Pie’ is to bring the proverbial “I,” not only the letter at the center of the design but literally you the viewer, together with your neighbors, your community, and the world beyond. It’s all about you and those around you seeing every small way you can help our environment even a little bit. Collectively we can have a greater impact on the world. Just as each Cumberland student made small glass pieces to help create this cool ‘Ice Pie’ artwork to be enjoyed by all, so might we save our planet by joining together in our efforts.
  • We hope to be invited to try it again elsewhere.
The finished mural