Scottie mosaic unveiled
A come and go, all day, open house of the new school building for parents and students is scheduled for August 13. An open house for the rest of the public will be scheduled for a later date. School classes start Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Working in preparation of this new school year and the new school building, Gaylord “Guy” Paulson has created a five-feet-diameter round mosaic of the most recent Philip Scotties mascot. The project is a donation from Paulson that is worth thousands of dollars in materials and time.
The ceramic mascot logo has been permanently mounted to the wall next to the new concession/ lunch room, between the two gymnasiums. Student, staff, parents, sports patrons and others will see the new mosaic on the wall before enter the cafeteria through the north entrance.
Paulson, a 1955 Philip High School graduate, currently lives in Fargo, N.D. Since the finished mosaic is two large to fit in the bed of a pickup, transportation requirements called for the mosaic being packed with cushioning into a specially made crate, and that crate placed on a flatbed trailer.
Paulson plotted the design and colors by hand. Each mosaic tile was first chosen to perfectly match the school colors, then was meticulously placed within the design. After on-again, off-again work that spanned two years, Paulson finished the project a little over two weeks ago.
“I could have done that when I was younger in about half the time,” said Guy. “I move pretty slow.” At approximately six to eight ceramic pieces per square inch, and it having a surface area of 2,827.4 square inches, that results in a maximum of 22,619 individual pieces to create this mosaic. Each original tile had to be cut in half, if not more.
He started out with a drawing, commonly called a cartoon, then blended the design using three shades of tiles to create each color. The pattern had to be tightened when coming around a corner or sharpening the appearance of Scottie’s eyes.
The words on the mosaic were inspired from a cheer that Guy recalls during his high school year. “Home of the Scotties. Beware.”
It is a tradition that you do not cover a mosaic with anything, such a lacquer. “It is so durable, if you get it real dirty, you can lightly sand it off,” said Guy, who would use a dry steel brush to remove any excess glue. He used a carving tool to keep the grooves clean.
Mike West, who helped promote Guy’s desire to do this project, said to the gathered audience, “We thank Gaylord for getting this done. It is in a great place.”
Superintendent Jeff Rieckman added, “It will be up here for a long, long time.”
In attendance at the unveiling ceremony were several other members of Philip High School Class of 1955, including Guy’s wife. Many others were also present, including many members of the current board of education.