Express & Star

Mosaic artist inspires Black Country children to create eye-catching designs

A Smethwick artist has created a series of mosaic panels for a community project with a primary school.

Caroline Jariwala with students from Rood End Primary School

The artist, Caroline Jariwala, 58, was commissioned by West Smethwick Park to create the mosaic panels with pupils from Rood End Primary School.

Caroline facilitated the mosaic project for Rood End Primary School. She taught the Year 5 pupils skills including how to cut a tile with mosaic side-biters, as well as the rudiments of mosaic making using ceramic tiles, glass and crockery.

Caroline Jariwala with students from Rood End Primary School and Alex Howell

Caroline is an ethical mosaic artist using chipped, rejected, thrown-away and second-hand crockery and cheap tiles, ordinarily destined for landfill. By using these materials, she gives the materials a new lease of life and creates a much desired object of beauty.

Her work was inspired by Kenneth Townsend, a freelance designer who captured the humorous side of life through his art, drawings and writing.

Caroline said: "Inspired by Kenneth Townsend’s animal series 'Menagerie', I interpreted nine of his designs that would suit the mosaic making art form for the Year 5 pupils.

"I worked with the entire year group from Rood End Primary School over three days. Each two-hour session focused on three panels per class. Nine panels were created measuring 122 x 80cm. The mosaic panels were edged and grouted at my home studio in Bearwood, Smethwick.

Artist Caroline Jariwala with a mosaic

"I absolutely enjoyed the whole experience, from working with Alex Howell, the community strategy officer, the teachers and the children.

"It was just a fully enjoyable experience, and the kids were so engaged with the whole project.

"We achieved so much together."

All of Caroline's work can be viewed online: