#1 May Mosaic Tips and Tricks

There are a few interesting tips and tricks to talk about this week.

One mosaic project that was completed by Jenny was a Butterfly, cut out of marine ply, undercoated and then mosaicked with chunky pieces of crockery.

To create a heavily textured mosaic, it is important to have a solid base to work on: The substrate needs to be thick enough to support the weight of the mosaic without bending.  Also think about the relationship of the size of the full project and the size of the mosaic pieces. Jenny has this down to a fine art as you can see in the image below.

It is also essential to cut pieces carefully to be able to create strong rhythm in the piece. Jenny has overlayed the pieces and painted the edges of each mosaic piece with coloured cement adhesive and glued them onto the substrate with the coloured adhesive. It would be hard to grout a textured mosaic. Using coloured cement adhesive is just so much more practical. Observe this in the side view of the mosaic. You can also see the use of crockery true to its original shape, e.g. rims of cups and rims of plates.


The start of another project involved trying to keep a pattern of a smashed cup intact. To be able to preserve the pattern of the cup or any bowl or plate or other curved materials, the object can be taped with clear tape. This will preserve its pattern during and after cutting the crockery for any mosaic application.

Another project this week involved gluing pieces of recycled glass to marine ply around a recycled bevelled mirror. Kerry is creating a winged diptych mirror framed by coloured glass and will grout the piece in charcoal or black grout. To be able to retain the freshness of the colour in the glass it is important to use white cement adhesive. The white will not discolour the glass. It is also important to make sure the adhesive covers the full back of each glass piece evenly and right to the edge. This will ensure that none of the dark grout applied later will be able to seep under the glass edges causing discolouration.

Mosaicking edges – the general consensus is : avoid doing the edge of utilitarian objects  – e.g. the edge of a table top – as pieces will be easily dislodged. It is a choice to make -in decorative pieces and wall pieces – it should be pretty safe going over the edge…with your mosaic pieces. For some artist this becomes a signature design element as e.g. in the works by British artist Cleo Mussi.

Being lucky enough to have the cumulative experiences of a group of mosaic artists meeting regularly and working on a huge range of projects is just such a thrill for each member of the group.

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