Jack has been coming to LSoM since 2016 when he was 17 years old. He has one to one sessions with a dedicated volunteer tutor with whom he has now built a strong relationship.
At first, Jack was uneasy about the environment of the mosaic studio as it was new to him and he would isolate himself to feel secure. He was wary of others coming close to his work space and had little interaction with others verbally or socially. He often spoke sharply to people he didn’t know and showed limited tolerance of his peers.
After a couple of months, Jack begin to relax and find ways to talk to the supportive adults around him. Jack is very artistic and has a strong understanding of image and colour. He was enthusiastic to start making mosaics as they provide an excellent form for exploring and showcasing his talent.
Jack has established a regular routine; he makes his own refreshments on arrival and sets up his work space with the mosaic and tools he needs. He decides the sections of the mosaic he will complete, selects the coloured tiles and either cuts the tiles or instructs his support adult to help with the cutting. He is able to make the mosaic through to completion, knowing how and when to use grouting and paint to present a well finished piece of work.
Making mosaics has benefited Jack greatly. Over the years there has been a remarkable difference in his ability to interact with others. He now greets everyone when he is at the studio and engages in conversation with others in a way in which he was not able to previously. He tolerates the busy, noisy or unpredictable workshop environment in a calm manner and if he becomes stressed by it, he verbally indicates this so that his tutor can help to alleviate the situation. The process of making mosaic enables Jack to stay calm, focused and express his creativity.
Westley who has autism and epilepsy has been coming to our studios for over 7 years. His father was a sign writer based in the East End and he proudly following his footsteps by making signs as mosaic maker. Having completed our certificate qualification with NOCN and improving his skills step by step, he’s become an integral part of our community.
Before joining us he was attending various day care centres, which did not recognise his skills and talents and where he couldn’t apply his entrepreneurial mind. Westley is a bubbly and extrovertive person. When he joined us he found it difficult to accept criticism and would sometimes become angry with our tutors. Throughout the years he has learned to listen carefully, accept the point of view of others as well as reflect on his work in much more detail.
He would like to see more mosaic on the streets of London and he is an ambitious advocate of mosaic. He is known for making door signs, mosaic mirrors and works at a quick pace.