Pittsburgh's Outdoor Murals and Public Art, discovered on bicycle around the Burgh bike


Fabulousa Lochnessa Kaleidoscopa Mosaica AKA Doris by Laura Jean McLaughlin Bob Ziller

133 S. Aiken Ave (Latham St)
Bloomfield, Pittsburgh PA 15206

We had heard there was something new happening in this small, neighborhood garden in Bloomfield, so we rode over to see what we might find. To our great pleasure we discovered that Laura Jean McLaughlin and Bob Ziller were in the process of creating another mosaic piece for this beautiful spot.

We noticed how the creature’s back looked like it might be perfect for kids to sit on.

Curious about the small prisms we saw scattered around the tall tail, we looked closer we found kaleidoscopes! How cool is that? The best part is that they’re positioned for both the young and the young at heart – so we didn’t have to kneel down to try them out.

We plan to return once the sculpture is completed to get updated photos and information. It’s a wonderful addition to the garden and the neighborhood.

We contacted the artists for more information and Mr Ziller told us

"There will eventually be a bird house and a weathervane on top of the tail, and the top of her head contains a basin which funnels rainwater out of her mouth, which will go into a mosaic birdbath in the shape of a big teacup (which has yet to be made/funded)."

He also directed us to the Facebook page for The Octopus Garden where there’re photos of the construction from the beginning. They also show you how to make your own kaleidoscopes like the ones embedded in Doris’ tail.

In an interview with this Sea Dragon on that FB page, we learn that Fabulousa Lochnessa Kaleidoscopa Mosaica comes from Loch Ness in Scottland. Her famous sister (Nessie) calls her Bessie, but her friends call her Doris.

Doris is being worked on every afternoon except Sundays and the public can participate with placing the tiles. This is a very cool project and we recommend you stop by if you can. Even if you can’t stay to help, it’s worth it to see the process.

We rode by in late December to check on Doris. It appears that Doris herself is complete. The birdhouse has been started, but no sign of the weathervane or birdbath yet. We noted some other additions to the garden and are looking forward to seeing it in the spring again.

UPDATE 5 May 2014
The birdhouse is finished. No sign of the birdbath or weathervane yet, but Doris and the surrounding garden appear ready for spring.


TAGS sculpture, Fabulousa Lochnessa Kaleidoscopa Mosaica AKA Doris, Bloomfield, mosaic, dragon, sea serpent, garden, kaleidoscope, prism, interactive art, wind power, solar power, water conservation, Scottland, Bessie, Doris, Lock Ness, sea dragon, sea creature, Laura Jean McLaughlin, Bob Ziller, ,


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