This mosaic began a couple of years ago, when my mosaic class was still meeting in the old portables at Suncoast Technical College, and I was playing around with various substances to show students how to make 3-D effects on a board. I used mortar, two types of clay, and a finely ground product similar to mortar that works like clay but dries hard as a rock and can be sanded and formed quite smoothly - perfect as a substrate for mosaics. I made parts of two crane heads with the four materials to show how they each could be worked, and how each dried. A few weeks later I cut up some blue glass and started laying it around one of the heads, just for fun - because who in the world would make a crane's head blue? And then the class got busy and I took home the board and forgot about the cranes.
... Until a few months ago, when I looked at it one day and it started looking back - not in a woo-woo sort of way, but in a hey-there-are-all-sorts-of-possibilities-here sort of way. So I set it up on my table and got to work. This image is the almost-finished mosaic, before grouting. I still have to grind smooth and adhere the clouds in the "summer" panel. I didn't decide to add all the eyes until I had worked out the four seasons (they go from right to left, starting with winter). I can't tell you why, but there they are.