Fifteen middle school pupils (aged 10-12) worked on the construction of the mermaid during a one-day workshop. The design had been split into four sections which were taped to different tables, allowing a small group to work on each one. They used wallpaper paste to stick tiles face down on to the paper.
The children learned about the flow of the tiles and offsetting tiles in adjacent rows (like bricks in a wall). They made spontaneous design decisions (such as using mirror glass in the mermaid's swimsuit and jewelry) and used books to study the patterns of fish scales and tails.