07 January 2011
How to make an Original and long lasting Mosaic PART ONE
There are so many styles of mosaicing, and with some research on the internet, you will soon see what does, and does not appeal to you. There is no point in laboring over a mosaic creation, only to detest it on completion and hide it away in the cellar or garden. I don’t like seeing mosaic creations that are falling to pieces and rotting either. A good mosaic should last for a long time. An outdoor mosaic needs to be made properly to withstand temperature changes and weather.
Most of my very first mosaics creations have been recycled or hidden away, so why not skip this expensive learning curve and learn the correct methods? On the various internet mosaicing social networks, I come across names of materials I have never heard of, like “thinset”. In
, we don’t have the same choices but manage well with the basics and some good products made by one or two companies. South Africa
My Golden Rules for beginners:
1) Do not mosaic using a timber substrate, especially if the piece will be exposed to fluctuating temperatures. Timber expands and contracts and eventually the mosaic will fall apart. If the mosaic is going to stay indoors at a constant temperature it should be OK.
2) Paint a priming agent or bonding liquid on surfaces before mosaicing on to them, and make sure you are glue-ing your piece onto a really sound, clean and firm surface.
3) Buy some glass mosaic cutters. All mosaic artists should have some of these.
4) Start small. Remember, “Less is more”. Contrast your background and foreground colors or else the detail is lost.
5) BE PATIENT! Drying time is important. No rushing- you just end up having to re grout the whole thing if you rush. Aim to get your grout level with the surface of your pieces
6) Be Safe: Glass and glazed ceramic pieces are sharp. Wear goggles and gloves. Adhesives and grout are hard on nails and skin. Take precautions. Wear shoes in the work room and be careful of your elbows too.
Water, Adhesive, grout, bonding liquid, buckets, sponges, spatulas, glass mosaic cutters and tile nippers.
Collect or buy:
Tesserae: pebbles, shells, hardwood, ostrich shells, sea shells, glass, broken ceramic things
Ceramic or glass tiles, glass nuggets, ceramic or glass buttons, ceramic or large glass beads, (semi precious stones can also be used if flat enough)
Earthmaid Mosaic inserts from Knysna Pottery House www.knysnapotteryhouse.co.za
Mirror frames, walls, floors, big stones, umbrella stands, fireplace surrounds, planters, an old bath in the garden, an entrance hall a path, a big paving slab, a birdbath, a fibre cement board
To be continued….