In The Neighborhood
Eric Rausch and Jen Kiko
Welcome to a 3,444 piece puzzle made of hand cut ceramic tile! This unique mosaic column represents an energetic, growing and living scene of the natural characters found in the neighborhood of this column near the Olentangy River. The composition is centered around an iron gate, with local flora and fauna woven throughout. The illustration concept was created for this site, and made into ceramic tiles, (with the help of studio assistants), cutting and smoothing each piece, numbering the back, and bisque firing. The big elements then were reassembled and hand painted before the clear glaze applied, and refired. They were all reassembled again to their final places on the column and grouted with care.
Local floras include sunflowers, anemone flowers, goldenrod, coneflowers, pansies, and shamrocks (a nod to the city of Dublin). Local fauna include a pair of Cardinals (Ohio’s state bird), Red Winged Blackbird, Brown House Sparrow, 2 Lady Bugs (Ohio’s state insect), Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (invasive, but here), Cicada, Luna Moth, Yellow Spotted Salamander (Ohio’s state amphibian) and endangered Hellbender Salamander. Inspired by Valentina’s Italian flair, there are a few things that Ohio and Italy share – Sunflowers (Girasole in Italian) and the Brown Sparrow (Passero, Italy’s national bird). The colorful and gregarious Bee-Eater bird is a visitor from Italy and other continents, but not native in Ohio.
Ceramic Tile, Grout