A prominent mosaic artist teamed up with a Liverpool-based tile adhesives company to create a bird-themed mosaic for Dulwich College, a historic south London school.

Delighted to be revisiting a project she first began in 2017, Tamara Froud from Catford in London was commissioned by DUCKS Kindergarten and Infants’ School at Dulwich College to create a wall-mounted mosaic at the building’s main entrance.

“I created the original mosaic in 2017 to depict various types of duck and wading birds: a swan, heron, moorhen and curlew,” Froud said. “Each was designed to represent one of the eight classes in DUCKS, the infants’ section of Dulwich College. But after adding another three classes, DUCKS called me back in to expand the scene.”

The mosaic, which was originally commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the kindergarten and infants’ section of the Dulwich College, combines exterior-grade ceramic tiles with red and white stones from the New Forest, as well as brightly colored opaque glass. In light of the technical challenges of integrating the new elements onto the original curved wall, Froud didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

Having been supported with specialist adhesives and grouts by Palace Chemicals and Laticrete UK for nearly five years, Froud said, “The three new birds: a puffin, mandarin duck and sandpiper, are all being prepared in my Catford studio. I’m sticking the tiles, glass and stones to a mesh backing with Laticrete 254 and adding a little Palace Tilers Primer for some extra adhesive power. That enables me to feel confident that, when I install the finished pieces onto the wall, all those tiny pieces will stay exactly where they belong.

“COVID-19 permitting, the plan is to now visit the school during the half-term break, so the new work can be integrated into an expanded version of the original mosaic,” she went on to say. “By using color-matched Palace Colour-Lock Grout, it should look like the new birds were always part of the original scene.”

Miranda Norris, head of DUCKS Kindergarten & Infants’ School, added, “Tamara’s mosaic of ducks brings a smile to everyone’s face and the children thoroughly enjoy identifying their own class bird amidst the scene. We’re delighted to be able to add a further three birds to this wonderful artwork.”

Palace Chemicals is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of tile adhesives, grouts, building chemicals, wood treatments and decorating sundries. The family owned firm, which is also the UK manufacturing licensee for Laticrete’s award-winning range of adhesives, grouts and waterproofing products, has been at the forefront of tiling technologies since 1978.

Knowing the requirement for protection against the elements and longevity of life, commercial director, Steve Ball, is delighted that Palace and Laticrete UK remain the go-to solution for mosaic professionals like Tamara. “Having supported various artists over the years, we know how valuable mosaic installations can be to community life,” he said. “A bespoke mosaic is something people can take pride in to feel a part of, so we’re delighted to be able to support Tamara in a project like this.”

DUCKS Kindergarten and Infants’ School at Dulwich College

London, United Kingdom

Mosaic Artist: Tamara Froud, Catford, London, United Kingdom

Installation Products: Palace Chemicals, Speke, Liverpool, United Kingdom (Palace Tilers Primer, Palace Colour-Lock Grout, Laticrete 254)