HOISINGTON — Hoisington High School senior Kade Cook is creating a new Cardinal mosaic out of ceramic tiles for the front hall of the school. A Cardinal is the school mascot.
Cook has been actively working on project since the beginning of the school year.
Cook got the idea to make the mosaic of the school’s mascot during discussions about enhancing the school atmosphere.
“I’ve always been interested in art,” said Cook. He has been taking art for four years and is the art aide.
“It’s a class you can come to and relax,” said the student. “If you having a bad day, you leave in a good mood.”
Cook initially began his project with tiles that were one inch by one inch. Along with teacher Christina Lamoureux, he decided it would take too long for the really small tiles.
“We did problem solving,” said Lamouereux.
He next experimented with larger tiles that had to be carefully dried so they would not curl. The tiles were placed between boards to keep them straight and to keep them from drying too fast.
Cook did not use molds.
Each tile has a number on the back so that when it is grouted to a backing, the pieces will be in the correct order.
Cook chose the Cardinal shape on the computer and then resized and cropped the image to the size he wanted. The final size will be 41 inches by 35 inches.
The artist then printed out the Cardinal on paper and taped the pieces together. While the clay tiles were still wet, the image was traced through the paper onto the tiles.
He has had some help from other students in the class.
To find a color he liked, Cook glazed and fired several tiles and figurines, experimenting with colors and combinations of colors. He kept detailed notes of the color combinations and of when the color was applied.
Brick red was the final choice. The senior hopes to have the mosaic finished before school is out.
He is also involved in swimming, student council, National Honor Society, track and cross-country. Cook plans to attend Barton Community College and eventually become a dentist.