April 17, 2011

Cents and sensibility

Artist Amanda Edwards' creative kitchen floor is all about small change and big ideas.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Mosaic artist Amanda Edwards used pennies to create a one-of-a-kind floor for the kitchen of her Falmouth home. The space also includes a mosaic of cut stained glass over her kitchen counter, a colored tile mosaic on the island, and a backsplash covered with pebbles, sea glass and shells her children have collected.

Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Edwards’ stainless-steel refrigerator reflects the rich coppery patina of the pennies she used to create her kitchen floor. “When the sun hits it just right, this floor just glows,” says Edwards.

Additional Photos Below

"In the summer, it's nice and cool, cooler than tile," said Edwards, standing on the floor in bare feet in early April.

One challenge Edwards had was keeping all the heads facing the same direction -- something she didn't have to do, but thought would make for a better overall look.

The 10- by 11-foot kitchen is open to the living and dining areas, and is shaped roughly like a triangle. Plus, there's an island in the middle.

So she had to start putting down pennies at one end and work her way around to make sure no two coins would be heading in different directions.

She did it in sections, closing down portions of the kitchen for a few days at a time. It took her about a year and a half to complete.

After it was done, Edwards and her family -- husband Matthew and children Julian, 8, and Priya, 5 -- wanted to know how many pennies were used.

They sent the kitchen's measurements to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and asked for an estimate. The answer they got was 31,140.

While covering a kitchen floor with pennies is not for everyone, Edwards does have at least one home-decor mosaic idea that is easy and would have appeal for many families.

The backsplash behind her kitchen counters -- a long piece of board about 5 or 6 inches high -- is covered with pebbles, sea glass, shells and other things her children have collected on trips to the beach.

She installed the board, got some more Weldbond glue, and began sticking up the found treasures. Many families have buckets of shells and sea glass in the backyard.

"This way, I can look at that sand dollar right there and remember that Julian got that with his grandma," said Edwards. "It's a way my children can contribute to make the kitchen ours."

To learn more about Edwards and see her work, go to mandolinmosaics.com.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:



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Additional Photos

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Edwards painstakingly placed and glued down thousands of pennies, all facing up and with Abraham Lincoln facing the same direction.

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Edwards’ kitchen floor is mostly made of pennies – about 31,000 of them – but she added a few dimes here and there for interest.

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The backsplash in Amanda Edwards’ Falmouth kitchen is made from rocks, shells, sea glass and more that her children found on trips to the beach.

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