Saturday, 4 October 2014

October 1 st 2014

Back to mosaics!

I decided to have another go at mosaics as I enjoyed the last ones so much!

I bought a kit this time which was exactly the right size for the project I had in mind. I thought it might be helpful to see how someone else devises the pattern and divides it into shapes to create the design.

The kit also provided exactly what I needed; tiles; grout; adhesive; spreader and a tile nipper.

I bought a 30 cm square planter for the garden as the kit measures 30 cm it means I can mosaic one face.

I then used a sealant and sealed it with a couple of coats inside and out. If you don t seal a pot that's going to contain moisture the tiles will pop off in time.

The planter is made of fibrecotta and a bit rough looking so I had one of the blue tiles scanned and then a paint made up to match it.

I painted it. It took three coats to cover well enough, the sample pots of the Valspar paint are very generous and easily covered it.

The kit uses the reverse method which I wanted to try. This involves the picture being drawn out on brown craft paper in reverse, the picture is drawn indicating how to lay the tiles, the design featuring a fish uses mainly quarter tiles and the background whole ones. The tiles are glass 2 cm square and are glued down upside down using PVA water soluble glue mixed with 50% water. This method means you can assemble it away from the finished object, the tiles are completely flat and if you were doing a big project this can be broken into sections for assembly.

The most difficult thing was to sort out the different colours as the instructions were a bit vague! It was a process of elimination......... Solution below.

The picture pattern indicated where to place the colours

I then stuck all the tiles down upside down and back to front!


The next part of the process was to grout the finished work and then remove most of the grout from the face of the tiles. The face of the pot also had to have the adhesive applied with a notched tool such that the adhesive has a ridged surface for the tiles to stick to.

The picture is then stuck to the pot, face down, with the paper uppermost. Some gentle pressure is applied to ensure good contact with the pot face. The brown paper is then dampened (this helps to dissolve the PVA glue) and this is then left for 15 to 20 minutes for the water to soak in. The brown paper can then be peeled off carefully, the odd tile did lift (I found it hard to be that patient)! The tiles stuck back quite well into the adhesive and on the whole it worked really well.

Once the paper had been peeled off and any adhesive had been removed then it was left to dry.

A further grouting was then done to ensure there were no gaps. This was allowed to dry and then the surface was polished with a dry cloth.