Due to budgetary constraints and water conservation efforts, the once beautiful fountains and splash pools in the gardens just outside Tampa had been closed and covered with plywood. As the artists of the glass tile mural, Anderson rallied a team of volunteers including Richard and Kathy Harder, Tampa-based tile contractor Brian Shute of Ceramictec, and tile installerJohn Schmidt of Coastal Ceramic Tile. The Harders often put in 60 hours a week on the hand-cut glass tiles for the design. Shute helped create the structural support required for the mural and provided the necessary product data so Laticrete could arrange for the materials. Schmidt oversaw the installation that took place in four separate areas with Laticrete products supplied by Gulf Tile and Creations in Largo, FL.
Anderson became a board member with the not-for-profit Florida Botanicals Garden in 2010. With the perspective of an artist, Anderson began to promote the idea of creating the glass tile mural to bring beauty back to the gardens in celebration of its 10 year anniversary. With budget as the primary concern, she also began to enlist material donations and volunteers that might want to help out with the cause. Ceramictec brought the Laticrete product range to the table and provided guidance by relaying information back to Laticrete technical experts. Coastal Ceramic Tile stepped in after the project had been through a series of delays to help lead the installation of glass tile designs cut from 48” x 24” (121 x 61cm) sheets of colored stained glass and glued onto mesh sheets. Anderson’s design included fish in all shapes and sizes, lily pads, frogs and butterflies, all set in a flowing pattern in fields of solid blue and aqua glass tiles as in a fresh pond.
“We were extremely happy to get the mural installed and everyone was so excited,” said Anderson. “It’s a gift of love from the community to the Florida Botanical Gardens. We couldn’t have done this without Richard and Kathy Harder, as well as numerous volunteers that showed up three days a week for three hours a day to cut glass tiles. And of course we have to thank LATICRETE. We can’t believe how generous Henry [Rothberg, co- owner of LATICRETE] has been to us.”
To learn more about the LATICRETE glass tile mural installation for the Florida Botanicals Garden visitwww.flbg.orgorwww.andersonart.com.