How to make functional mosaic art objects for the garden and home. Ideas and inspiration for beginners and masters. Mosaic advice, hints, do's and dont's. How to make original and long-lasting Mosaic table tops, chair seats, garden pot planters, mosaic framed mirrors and more.
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 South Africa, we don’t have the same choices but manage well with the basics and some good products made by one or two companies.
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.
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
tree of life detail- before grouting. This mosaic, a large wall panel, got lost by couriers on it's way to Texas, USA, but was found, slightly damaged after 3 weeks. They refunded the transport cost, which was almost twice the cost of the mosaic. It was repaired and installed at the clients swimming pool - so a happy ending...
I sold this at a craft fair.
mosaic inserts around a mirror
handmade from real leaf imprints from our jungly Knysna Pottery House garden
she sells sea shells on the sea shore - we have big ones and small ones