Mosaics: Looking at the Bigger Picture

The art of assembling small fragments of glass, stone and other materials to form a larger image is known as mosaics. What is much less known is that this practice is about 4,000 years old or so. Some of the most famous pieces of the world’s artistic history were mosaics, like this Roman piece found in Turkey of a gypsy girl, estimated to be from the 2nd Century CE.

If you’re looking to make your own bigger picture, you’ll need to choose your mosaic pattern and round up your mosaic supplies, which will include making sure you have enough mosaic tiles to get the job done. That might seem obvious, but if you’re new to the artful world of mosaics, here are some little tips that will help you create a mosaic you’ll be able to brag about:
1. Start small and simple
Don’t even think about trying to tackle a mosaic wall or flooring project first! Start with something small and simple so you can get your technique worked out. Coasters or picture frames make for great practice mosaic projects!
2. Get sketchy
Choose a mosaic template you like from an image you find in a book, online or even from a photo you’ve taken. You can sketch out your own design or use something you print out, whichever you like. Just be sure to plan out your image first before getting into the thick of your mosaic.
3. Use contrast
Make your mosaic patterns stand out by using a grout that contrasts with the color of tiles you’re using. For example, if you’re using light-colored tiles, make sure you use a darker grout so that your pattern will really pop when it’s finished. Keep in mind that most grouts appear darker when they are wet and become lighter once they’ve dried.
4. Safety first
Always, always, always wear your safety glasses when cutting glass, tile or other items for your mosaic. You should also wear them while you’re mixing your grout too as it is slightly acerbic.
5. Use the right tools
Among your mosaic supplies, you’ll need to be sure you’ve got the right tools for the job. When you want to cut glass, you should use a wheeled glass nipper. If you’re looking to cut from ceramic tiles, china or other dishes, use the tile nipper.
6. Understand how grout works
Before working with grout for the first time, get to know how it works. It needs to stay damp as it cures. If it dries out too quickly, it will crumble. The chemical process it undergoes is called curing, where the water binds internally with the grout.
7. Seal the deal
One of the best glues on the market for creating mosaic patterns is Weldbond. It adheres to pretty much anything, plus it’s non-toxic, non-flammable and water-resistant once it dries, making it great for indoor and outdoor mosaic projects alike.
Stock up on your mosaic supplies by clicking here.
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Joanne D.  •  April 14, 2016
I am in the bery beginning. Ive been making free hand necklaces with a little micowave kiln. I need to know how to use the multi color enamel powder. Does it work like regular co90 glass? I really want some sparkle in my boring little pieces. Thanks.
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Kayla D.  •  April 14, 2016
Application and firing temperature will depend on what type of enamel you are using. We have Fusing Powder enamels which come in transparent and opaque as well as Mica Powders and Carefree Lusters to add a touch of sparkle to your glass art. All of these work well with any COE of glass.
Jenn Raskin

Jenn Raskin

Jennifer Raskin is an internationally published writer with a not-so-secret craft obsession. She joined the Delphi team to combine two of her favorite things - writing and creating art. In her spare time, she loves to play with her kids, cook, write and have craft parties with her friends.