Install Day


It happened!  Yes, Install day was one of the most hectic of days… also the longest.

The moss seen in the pictures isn’t the real one that will be there.  For now, just so everyone can get an idea of what the final piece will look like, we’ve glued on some fake moss.  Looks pretty real, right?

Hope you like what all of our hard work has done!


Testing It Out



Ok, so it’s coming together for the final stages!  Installation day is, fingers crossed, going to be tomorrow!  Big things are happening to Millvale this week and this is part of it.

Quick little overview for our readers:  We are creating an eco moss mural that will be installed in Millvale.  Our base is made out of steel which you see in all the photos.  The big plates are all put together to make up what looks like the Millvale skyline.  Then, we have some letters that go on top of that (see where those little round rod guys are sticking out of the sheet metal?).  Those letters will be totally covered in moss and spell out the word “imagine.”  Cool, right?

So much has been happening that it’s hard to keep up!  Joanna has been working furiously to get everyone going and moving.  Brian took a little break from setting up the library to help out with hanging our template on the wall of the site.  What a brave guy, hanging out the window for our sake.  We also had Paolo Piscitelli on board for the day and let me just say, he was the biggest help anyone could every ask for.  The guy knows how to make sculptures and think about those details that get lost in the chaos.  He is a part time professor at Pitt and makes some pretty awesome sculptures, too.  Our teen helpers who are also Millvale residents have been there each step of the way: Ashley and Brandon have probably learned more in the past few months than most college students learn in four years.

I helped out with template building a couple of days with Joanna.  Papercutting is my thing, but cutting out pieces of foam that are taller than you is a whole other story… But those boys at Red Star really helped out with last minute metalwork that we asked them for.  After all of that was done, all that was left was the painting of the piece.  Stay tuned for more pictures!

So remember: Installation day of the mural is TOMORROW, August 13, 2012.  But the grand opening of the library is on August 18!  So come on down if you can and meet the team!

– Gianna

One of Many Workdays

So here’s a little peek into workdays at Joanna’s studio.



It’s coming together!  After many trials, workdays, and lunch breaks we are able to get a good feel for how the mural is going to look.  For those of you readers who are wondering why in the world we are talking about an Eco mural when there is clearly steel in this picture, we can explain!

It all started with the sketch that was to be the grand plan for the mural on the library.  From there, we had to find a way to realize the vision.  In the end the final decision was made to make a steel base that will have moss growing on top.  This steel pieces in the photos are basically the skeleton of the entire project.  Next steps are to put them together and do a whole lot more welding.  Joanna Commandaros is the little commander of her trusty working team: Chris Cassady and Jay Grassel.  Between the three of them, you can’t imagine the work and problem solving being done.  We also have a few other people on the job who are putting in so much work:  Ashley Fredericks and Brandon Flaherty.

So what am I doing in all of this?  Well, I’m managing the PR and keeping you all informed.  I get to take my camera everywhere I go and snap some pictures of everyone looking awesome and intense while they work.  Trust me, they all appreciate the headshots.  But I want to get our project out there and spread the word about what it is that we’re doing in Millvale.

 Keep checking the blog for more updates!

– Gianna

Heavy Metal


So much metalwork to do, so little time!  We have quite the team helping us get it all done.  Jay is one of our welders who spends many a days working at the Tech Shop in Bakery Square.  They have just about every tool you would ever need for any project- especially this one.  Not to mention one of the cleanest metalshops any of us have ever seen.  So, while we have that going on, we also have some other friends at Red Star Ironworks in Millvale.  One of our teen assistants and Millvale residents, Ashley Fredricks, is seen in one of the photos grinding away at some tiny pieces of steel.  All of those little squares pictured will add up to hold together the mural’s large steel letters that are to go on the front of the building.

Joanna Commandaros is leading everyone along and making sure the work is getting done.  Her studio is filled with steel letters, plans, templates, and great ideas on how we’ll get this mural up and on the wall soon.

Keep checking back for more updates!