Mosaic Tiles Crafting Provides Senior Citizens An Enjoyable Creative Outlet
In a small care facility for the elderly located in one of the remote towns of Kyoto, Japan, administrators believe that providing their residents creative outlets allows them the opportunity to rediscover simple joys in life. With limited mobility and strength, it's crucial to give them something that would make better use of their time and reinforce their self-worth. Hence, afternoons are reserved for recreational activities.
A local artist who specialises in mosaics comes every week to teach arts and crafts that are easy and enjoyable to do. The previous year, she taught the elderly who live in the facility how to make colourful coasters with 2cmx2cm cut mosaic tiles, cork, and glue. She brought a collection of scrap tiles in various materials and prints from her own studio so the senior folks can get as creative as they possibly can in designing the coasters. With these simple materials, the physically challenged residents of the facility managed to create beautiful coasters that were actually sold at a local art festival. Hordes of festival-goers purchased the coasters, not only as a manifestation of support for the community's care facility, but also because the coasters are versatile pieces that can be used a variety of ways and they were all very affordable.
One of the buyers claimed that she would be repurposing an old table in her house using the collection of mosaic tile coasters she purchased at the festival. With the finished product, she believed that the table would become a nice focal piece in her patio. A similar idea was presented by another buyer who said that she purchased several coasters to conceal the ugly crack on her countertop and create a fresh new look for it. Another one shared that the small coasters can be pieced together to create a visually attractive wall décor for her home. Meanwhile, others said the coasters can serve as hanging accessories for ornamental plants or cute little gifts for any occasion.
Due to the success of the project, other artistic ideas spawned from using mosaic tiles as a medium. The residents of the facility have taken to cutting the tiles themselves to further explore other designs and applications. They are also learning how to integrate other materials (recycled broken glass, sea glass, sand, shells, stones and even bottle caps) for a 3D design. Nowadays, they create attractive home elements like pots, jars, chairs, votive candle holders, and even jewellery.