Mural taking shape, piece by piece

Dorri Partain
Northeast News

Scritch, scritch, SNAP! The jarring sound of breaking tiles is the first part of the constructive process taking place at Back Door Pottery.

Last May, clay artist Rebecca Koop opened the doors of her studio at 3922 St. John Ave. to anyone who wanted to learn the art of tile mosaics. Creative and curious participants from Northeast and beyond have spent a few hours a week breaking a colorful array of tiles into small shards, re-shaping them into a design that, once completed, will overtake the front facade of Koop’s building.

Back in 2005, Koop made a simple sketch that grew into a multi-year project, just to prepare for the undertaking. She bought and stored odd lots of tiles, calculating the amounts and colors needed. Once she had refined the design concept, her daughter used her graphic art skills to blend the design with a photo of the facade.

The project stalled from time to time, since Koop also devotes her time and talents to organizing events sponsored by Northeast Arts KC, such as the annual Summer Dusk concerts and Chalk Walk. The biggest hurdle was finding a contractor that could repair the building’s cracked and broken stucco, so the mosaic tiles would have a clean and solid surface to adhere to.

Once that was completed in 2017, Koop broke down the design into a grid of one foot segments, and numbered them in sequence of arrangement. Then the building front was marked with grids and the design was outlined, revealing the shapes of the earth: ocean, wind, sky, land, phases of the moon, and shades of a sunset. As tiles are created, different shades and finishes of the tiles are being worked into the design to create some surprise elements as well.

As Koop sees the project, she said, “I’m not just enhancing my building, I’m place-making in the community.”

With thanks to those who have attended the mosaic-making sessions, 62 square feet of the design has been completed and seamed together. Once installed, those tiles will cover an area of the building’s lower corner on the east side.

Koop acknowledges she is indebted to the volunteers assisting with the project.

“This was planned as a community project because I wanted the mosaic to be a benchmark for the community,” Koop said. “And it’s been a good way to meet new neighbors; one even brought over home-baked banana bread to share.”

Once the first section is installed, Koop envisions the colder, winter months will be a good time to create more tile sections. While she does not have a timeline for completion yet, she does plan to have an “unveiling” party to celebrate what has been completed on Earth Day, April 22, 2019.

Anyone interested in the project can attend the mosaic crafting sessions on Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. at Back Door Pottery.

Comments are closed.

  • Northeast News welcomes new Managing Editor, Elizabeth Orosco

    November 14th, 2018
    by

    Northeast News This week, the Northeast News welcomes a new Managing Editor, Elizabeth Orosco, who is taking over for Interim […]


    Independence Avenue is one of the deadliest streets for drivers, study says

    November 14th, 2018
    by

    Abby Cambiano Northeast News Independence Avenue is the 31st most deadly street for car crashes and fatalities in Kansas and […]


    Cerner Founder wins 46th Outstanding Kansas Citian Award

    November 14th, 2018
    by

    Johanna Pounds Editorial Assistant Northeast News The Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas City (NSDKC) have been giving out awards […]


    What Amendment Two’s passing means for Missouri residents

    November 14th, 2018
    by

    Johanna Pounds Editorial Assistant Northeast News Medical Marijuana has officially been legalized in Missouri, so what does this mean for […]


    Amendment approval spurs policy change from Prosecutors Office

    November 13th, 2018
    by

    Mike Bushnell Northeast News The Jackson County Prosecutors Office announced Tuesday morning it would no longer prosecute marijuana crimes since […]


  • Royals Pitcher Ian Kennedy Serves up Barbecue to City Union Mission Guests

    November 13th, 2018
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News The Kansas City Royals teamed up with City Union Mission to serve over 250 meals to […]


    Feds charge man who allegedly sold guns to undercover agents

    November 9th, 2018
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Federal Prosecutors on Thursday charged Heladio Lezama-Palma with allegedly selling guns and illegal drugs to undercover agents […]


    Here’s what Missouri voters chose in Midterm Elections

    November 7th, 2018
    by

    Abby Cambiano Northeast News Missourians made some tough decisions yesterday at the polls. Below is a summary of some of […]


    Cost for new KCI has increased to $1.9 Billion

    November 7th, 2018
    by

    Abby Cambiano Northeast News KCMO City Council updated on the plans for the new one-terminal Kansas City airport during the […]


    KCFD Station 27 welcomes home a piece of history

    November 7th, 2018
    by

    Abby Cambiano Northeast News “I didn’t know they’d make such a big fuss over a piece of rock,” Howard Geelan […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    BUZZ EXTRA: Editorial Assistant Johanna Pounds shares her thoughts on the 2018 Midterm elections

    Johanna Pounds Editorial Assistant Northeast News Although I try to come off as non-partisan as possible when reporting, in my […]

    World Language Club at Frontier School of Innovation Middle

    Home Decor on Independence Avenue