Pot Hole Mosiacs

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Dear Reader:

How I do admire creativity that helps solves everyday, mundane problems and this story is about that very thing…pot holes!

Once again, this story showed up on the CBS Sunday Morning Show…I think I could do years of ‘material’ for a blog on these weekly shows…they are just so powerful and touching. It sets my heart in the right place for the week.

Our true, main character in the story today…is Jim Bachor…a graphic artist from Chicago who visited Pompeii, Italy on a vacation a few years back. It was this tour of the famous city that gave him the idea for filling in pot holes with cement and then creating mosiacs on top. After all if art made of glass and marbles could survive a volcano…couldn’t it survive a little modern-day traffic?

Here are some excerpts from his story: (Interview by Lee Cowan, CBS correspondent) “Pothole Mosaics: Street Art that Fills a Need”

The light at the end of our long winter tunnel is ahead. But so are the calling cards winter leaves behind: the black holes of the asphalt galaxy that by spring can swallow a car whole.

Before the snow and ice made goosebumps out of our roads, Cowan found Jim Bachor doing a little traffic triage. His neighborhood in Chicago is full of these urban craters, so many in fact that he decided to start fixing them himself.

“I just want to get my work done and get out,” he said while pouring concrete. “I’m not interested in having people watch me, really.”

Especially the watchful gaze of the Chicago police.

“I’m always worried about the cops, you know?” Bachor laughed. “I’m too old to be arrested. I’ve got twin boys, you know?

It’s true his gesture of goodwill isn’t technically legal, but no one’s really bothered him about it, because Bachor isn’t just filling Chicago’s potholes.  He’s turning them into works of art, such as his rendering of a rumpled Cheeto bag made out of marble and glass.

“It’s just that little bit of unexpected joy which is kind of a fun thing for me,” he said.

downloadHis street mosaics have been appearing all around the city for years now — dozens of them dotting the roads. Former potholes that are now frames for flowers, for popsicles and creamsicles, and a few that state the obvious, like one pothole that proudly screams it’s “not a pothole anymore.”

 

slogan-pothole-mosaic-by-jim-bachelor“This is probably my most popular piece,” he explained.

It’s probably seen by more people than it would be if it was in a gallery somewhere,” Cowan said.

“That’s a good point!” Bachor laughed.

 

“I think it’s great,” said one woman. “Looks beautiful. I laugh every time I see it.”

Bachor spends 8-10 hours crafting each piece, all in his basement studio, carefully chipping away at the colored glass and then setting each tiny piece in place.

“There are some moments of terror because it can all go to hell in a second,” he laughed,

It’s held together by nothing but cheesecloth, and placing it on top of wet concrete is a process that’s not entirely forgiving. As it dries, Bachor peels the cheesecloth back.

It’s a painstakingly slow and detailed procedure, especially when you consider the fact Bachor is doing it on his knees in the middle of traffic.

… There are plenty of potholes that could use an artistic lift — too many to ever get to in a single lifetime.

So the next time you curse one for destroying your car’s alignment or blowing a tire, try to look at them the way Jim Bachor does: not just as bumps in the road, but an opportunity to do something truly inspiring.

So until tomorrow…Let’s appreciate the creators who take everyday problems and solve them with beauty and laughter.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*While you are reading this blog…I will be telling Eva Cate’s class some fun information on the Presidents…the first thing being a big “Thank You” to the Presidents for getting Monday off from school, a holiday, for Presidents Day! 🙂

I had a fun time with Rutledge and Lachlan…and I thought, miracle upon miracles, I had them both down and asleep a little after eight when Mollie and Walsh returned. They were in shock too. After I got home Mollie sent me this picture she took when she went to check on them. Lachlan had climbed out of his bed, taking Woody from Toy Story with him, his favorite toy, and fallen sound asleep by his big ‘bro’ Lachlan. Now that is brotherly love and a “mosiac” of beauty.

*

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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