For Patti, who has always wanted to make a mosaic.
I always complain about not having enough space. The garage and my outdoor workspace are overflowing with stuff. My stuff. My mosaic stuff. Everything is covered with dust and cobwebs. I love it. It is a magical space full of wonder. Perhaps my affinity for tiles is instinctual, in my genes. My father was a builder in his youth. He loved concrete and his concreting skills were in high demand for major commercial builds. Funnily enough, my brother is now a tiler, a trade he came to later in life.
There are so many materials that can be used to make mosaic art: ceramic or glass tiles, smalti (beautiful glass tessarae), and stone. I prefer to work with ceramic rather than glass tiles. When I first started mosaicing, I was always worried about my dogs bursting into my studio and cutting themselves on stray glass shards. Ceramic shards can slice too, but there is less potential for canine disaster, at least in my opinion. Still, I would be happy to compromise on my principles and build a lock-up workspace if I could afford smalti. Smalti is SO expensive, so I make do with ceramic tiles. My children will be having a massive tile sale when I drop off my perch. Here is some of my tile collection.
Many professional tilers and those who do large mosaic installations use electric tile cutters (eg. wet saws), but I don’t. My mosaic projects are only small and, in any case, I would be worried about cutting my fingers off, so I stick with manual tile cutters. That way I only cut a chunk of finger off, not the whole finger. Tools I use include various tile nippers/tile nibblers, a glass tile cutter, tile snapper, tile scorer, file, small sharp knife (for removing grout). I never smash tiles. I always cut them by hand. This process is rather random and the shapes achieved can be very organic.
I use Weldbond as a tile adhesive. It is great for small, delicate projects where only a small amount of adhesive is needed at any one time. Weldbond doesn’t smell so you don’t end up with an epoxy headache. However, it is not suitable for projects, like birdbaths, where the tiles will be immersed in water. A dust mask is a must for mixing grout. You don’t want to end up with silicosis.
I’ve got two drawings on the tile board ready to go. This is an improvement for me on the same time last year. I see that the temperature is forecast to reach 18c degrees next week! Spring has sprung. That is perfect mosaicing weather.
This is my hurried response to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Everyday Objects. It is not really a photo response. I didn’t have time to get all arty.
There are a multitude of mosaic tutorials (not by me) on a certain video streaming channel for those that are interested. Many examples of my mosaic art are included elsewhere on my blog.