Last night I was browsing modern mosaics and it brought back memories of my own artistic path. For me, the complex task of placing objects and color together either aesthetically or to tell a story requires a combination of mastery and artistry which I still enjoy.
Below is a snap-shot of what mosaic artists are producing today, a delightful combination of artsy and crafty style that is one of the earliest art forms still in existence world-wide. Along with clay and bathroom tiles is the beautiful stained glass mosaic tiles popular now, you can now buy these online via Amazon.
Above image: British Mosaic Association, Mosaic of the Year 2013: Marialuisa Tadei
Wisconsin Winter by pam bean of glasssmarts
Making mosaics – build your library of inspiration
I have a wonderful library of resource books, patterns, techniques and tips for creating mosaics. Books from around the world have inspired me to improve not only my creative skills but the technical skills to make great mosaics. Online inspiration and tutorials are fine but somehow a book on the table seems much more relevant.
Making mosaics – collect a variety of glass shapes and colors
I love this piece by Sue above, she is using stained glass mosaic tiles which I also used and still sell today. Having made, taught and sold glass mosaics for over 10 years to hundreds of students – here’s my list of tips and products to use:
- Build your mosaic tile collection. Collect different shapes, colors and types of glass which you can mix and match.
- Aim for the similar thickness for the majority, stained glass is about 4mm thick.
- Look for interesting textures. You see many excellent examples through-out this gallery.
- Personally, I prefer to stick to one type or brand of glass for a mosaic – this helps harmonise the final piece.
- Experiment while planning! Try really random colors or textures .. who knows what magic will happen.
- Lastly, I always lay all my pattern out BEFORE gluing .. no mistakes or regrets happen.
Miloglass mosaics – using pieces of iridized stained glass
Knysna Potters mosaic
Making mosaics – cutting your glass tiles
Glass cutting can be very simple and straight forward even for children however safety is critical. Below are my tips and a list of the tools I use.
- Always wear safety goggles or cut inside plastic bags. Little pieces of glass flick off no matter how careful you are!
- Cut glass in the garage or where there is no bare feet. Glass always lands somewhere on the floor.
- You can draw on glass with a thin felt pen, or use standard office carbon paper to trace shapes for cutting.
- Quality tools, well maintained and oiled glass cutters will last you for decades.
Making mosaics – glue and grout
One thing I have learned, is to keep both these ingredients very simple. If you start getting too fancy then all that hard mosaics making effort can be ruined in an instant. Most products can be ordered online nowadays, here is a list of the ones I use:
- Glue – Weldbond type glues or a specialist high quality mosaic adhesive is fine for all indoor mosaics.
- Outdoors mosaics need an outdoor glue – something with a latex or use a two pack expoy for super weather proof strength.
- Grout – stick to four basic colors – white, sandstone, near black and terracotta. The rest dont matter!
- Use a sanded or wide-joint grout. Unlike tiny bathroom tiles which are all neatly square, your mosaic grout lines vary in width and can get more spacious.
colorful treescapes by Loretta Grayson
ALWAYS THE ARTIST