Solar System Mosaic All Done


The biggest reason for my last trip to Chicago was to finish up the Solar System Mosaic for Britt Shawver. Mya and I spent three weeks there earlier this summer, but we had almost finished when we ran out of some supplies which happened to be back ordered. So, the mosaic is all done now, though the room itself is not finished… I’ll stop back in to get some final photos when the whole room is done. For now, here’s the mosaic as seen in a bit of a construction zone.

Mars was cut from one large textured floor tile, which gives it a very cool relief sculpture sort of landscape, like the craters and mountains on the actual planet. Neptune was finished before we left, but didn’t get installed until this trip.

The wall opposite the planet mosaic is a large spiral galaxy in bits of mirror, which will have an oval mirror set in the middle of it. I ended up getting a bit whimsical with my interpretation of how a spiral galaxy looks… it’s a bit more like some of the gas clouds that string out curvy tentacles through space. Britt was totally ecstatic with the way it came out, so I think it was okay to apply a little artistic license to the science there. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on the mirrored cabinet to be installed, so the full effect will have to wait until the room gets finished out. Some of the cool bonus features of the mirror mosaic are that it throws reflected bits of light all over the ceiling and walls, which of course slowly move as the sun moves and the light shifts. Also, if you look closely into the mirrored bits, you can see reflections of the planets across the room.

I knew the mirror mosaic was going to be cool, but we were both a little blown away by how it looked when it went up. It’s hard to get this across in pictures really,because the room is so small that it’s a bit hard to find a good vantage point to photograph from. But I think the general idea comes through pretty well. I think when all the fixtures are in place and the floor is done and so on, I’ll have to bring in a professional photographer and see if we can’t do the project justice.