Making a mosaic is the combined effort of families, neighbours, friends, and acquaintances. Any given mosaic will consist out of 10.000 pins topped with hyacinth buds per square meter.
Making a mosaic starts with finding a subject. This can be a picture, a poster or any other sort of image. Nowadays the pictures are usually scanned, digitally altered and blown up before being printed. In the past though, people often used with a projector, which they used to copy the outline of a picture onto paper that was then attached to enforced polystyrene.
Prepping the flowers
When contestants have gathered tables, chairs, buckets with white and black pins in their work space, they can start prepping, as every bud still need to be pinned onto a pin. The work space can’t be too hot, otherwise the flowers will be subjected to shrinkage and decay. During this prep work, pinners are constantly looking for the right colours at the growers and in the cool rooms where the buds are stored.
While this is going on, the pinners start creating the mosaic. They pin pins onto the polystyrene. To ensure a uniform end product, it’s advisable that each section has only one dedicated pinner. When the mosaic has been filled with buds completely, it is time for the finishing touches. Using scissors, the flowers are trimmed to create a create a tighter look and to add certain details. A large mosaic of nine square yards takes three full days to make when about 30 people are working on it. Work usually starts on a Saturday and the mosaic is taken out in the garden on Saturday morning. When the mosaic has been placed, all that is left to do is to further decorate the garden with lights.
From 9am on a saturday morning, five separate cars with adjudicators drive throughout the polder to judge the mosaics in all categories. These categories are: adult mosaic, the future (contestants between the ages of 13 and 18), youth mosaics (contestants up to 13 years), bridge decorations, street decorations, objects, press price, music price and fantasy price. That night the prices will be awarded. The winners can call themselves the national champions and the night marks a great end to a week of pinning.