PHA Diatom Project 2018

Diatom Mural

2018 Prospect Hill Academy Charter School

Funded by MCC STARS Residency grant This mural is composed of 5 giant ”petri dishes”, filled with ceramic interpretations of diatoms. Diatoms are beautifully complex, single cell algae. We looked at images of diatoms, which had been scanned under an electron microscope for inspiration of form, pattern, texture. The students used this to design their clay sculptures. The idea was not to copy an image, but to be inspired by what they were seeing in nature and incorporate it into their own work. Each student was expected to created 5 of their own diatoms, in varied  sizes, shapes, glazes. Some chose to mosaic part of their sculptures, adding another layer of texture to their design. The completed ceramic diatoms were mounted inside 5 large “dishes” painted on the walls of the stairwell leading up to the school’s science classrooms.