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Tile Painting FUNdraiser begins

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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

Most people don't get a chance to have a piece of their artwork forever displayed where people can see it every day. However, a new upcoming tile collage in the Dover Library will give dozens of people this opportunity. On May 8, the Friends of the Dover Library kicked off their Tile Painting FUNdraiser. Adults and children alike were invited to purchase a tile and decorate it however they wanted as a way to support their local library. The tiles will be added to a collage.

Visitors who walk into the lower level of the Dover Public Library will see a large collage of already-completed tiles decorating the wall. “We salvaged a lot of these from outside,” said Ellie Beasley, a member of the Friends of the Dover Library who helped organize the project. These older tiles were part of a previous fundraiser for the library. This time around, the collage of tiles has been assigned a spot inside the library, where they will be placed when the fundraiser is over - instead of outside the library.

Hannah, 8, painted a tree with fingerprint leaves on her tile.

Hannah, 8, painted a tree with fingerprint leaves on her tile.

At 2 o’clock last Wednesday, children and their parents were ready to buy and decorate their tiles. Mr. James of Park Street Books in Medfield brought all the necessary supplies for the projects. There were hundreds of paint brushes placed in clay pots dispersed on each table, along with palettes for the children to sort their choices of paints. An array of different glazes sat on a table at the front of the room, ready to be picked by the tile painters. Parents helped their children put on aprons, knowing that this was destined to be a messy project for some of the kids.

Mr. James helped the kids start the project with a few simple instructions: "Take a brush and paint the whole tile. Then give it a few minutes to dry."

The children and their parents then picked up bottles of different glazes from the front of the room and filled their empty palettes to use for their tiles. One child decided to paint the background of his tile a sea foam green color. Another girl, unsure about what to paint their tile, used a pearl white to paint their entire tile and waited for inspiration to come to her. “What are you going to make?” one mom asked, as her child took a seat at a table, with a blank tile in front of her.

“A rainbow!” she exclaimed.

Rainbows were a popular choice for the tile painters; at least six tiles had a rainbow painted on them by the end of the workshop. Apollo Burt, 4, added a rainbow to his tile at the end of his painting experience. One painter opted for a rainbow gradient, using a provided sponge and some water to help blend the colors together. Kids painting the rainbows dunked their brushes into water before picking up new ones with each new color. “You have to be careful not to mix the colors,” said a mom to her daughter, helping her create a perfect rainbow.

“I love this rainbow ombré situation,” said another mom to their child.

Hannah, 8, opted to create a tree with a sun and sky in the background. Rather than use a brush to paint on leaves, Hannah used her fingers, dipping them in green paint. She was careful about adding a leaf to each branch.   

“A lot of leaves you got there,” her mom said.

“My fingers aren’t that small,” she retorted with a grin.

After finishing their tiles, children added one final detail. Using the tiniest of the paint brushes, they each signed their names to their tiles, along with the year. They then placed their masterpieces at the front of the room to dry. When the workshop ended, the tiles were taken to be kilned, and later added to the new collage. In just a few weeks, these kids will get to see their artwork put on permanent display in the library.

When they are older, the kids will fully appreciate just how important their work in supporting their local library was.

For now, though, supporting the Dover Town Library means using their artistic skills to paint tiles.

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