Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mosaic stones

The weather here, has been a bit on the nasty side.  I just haven't had the desire to do projects, although I have things that I need to work on, ......Taxes....:( .....a quilt that I started years ago, and my mom found it her closet, now it is sitting on my loveseat, Waiting......, Cover some pillows.....Go to the Horse Races, Yep that is what I want to do!  Enough rambling....I  belong to a Garden Group page on Facebook and a lady showed some pictures of some Mosaic stones that she was working on.  I asked if she would share her instructions and pictures.  She was happy to do so, So here they are! Fabulous! Thanks Christine!

Instructions are below the pictures...


There’s a wealth of information on mosaics out there, in books and online, and I used a lot of it. My project is in-process. I have not yet grouted the stones, and they have not been placed outside to withstand the test of time and weather. But I did extensive research and am confident they will. However, you will have to look elsewhere for grouting technique. The house number mosaic, and to a lesser extent the bird mosaic, look almost finished without grout. But the other mosaic stepping stones are obviously incomplete without the grout. Can’t wait to see what they look like when they are finished. I don’t think I saw any ungrouted mosaics in my research. Let me know if this is helpful to anyone.

-tile nippers (about $13 online)
-safety glasses (USE THEM!)
-broken dishes, tiles, beads, ??
-100% silicon
-12” x 12” concrete pavestone (I got mine at Home Depot for about $1.50 ea.)
-weatherproof grout (hard to find, but I found some at Lowe’s: SpectralLOCK Stainproof grout. Had to read all the labels, since the guys who worked there and at Home Depot were not much help).

I’d been collecting broken dishes for years and wanted to finally use them in mosaics. My friend, Lisa had been making mosaics for a while and lent me her tile nippers, several books on mosaics, and lots of advice. She’s great like that.
I also did a lot of research because Lisa had not made mosaics for outdoors, and I wanted to be sure to get weather-proof adherent and grout. Another friend found out the hard way that if you don’t use weatherproof adherent and grout, the mosaics will fall apart if left outside. I kept seeing and hearing about “thinset” but didn’t end up using it, because all the labels I read did not say it was for exterior mosaics.
I decided on 100% silicon because of several online testimonials, the most memorable one was by someone who does pool mosaics and uses it. 100% is apparently important - they say mold will grow in the acrylic additives in some silicon.

You can simply take and/or cut random tile/dish pieces and place them around in an abstract design that pleases you. You can leave as much space between the pieces as you choose.
It’s probably easiest to start out with an abstract design. I’ve made 2.
Lay the pieces out on the concrete stone. Move them around until you like what you see.
Then use the 100% silicon to glue the pieces down one by one.

If you want to make a stepping stone with representational imagery, find or make a design you want to use. Transfer it to the stone. Then cut the pieces of tile/dishes to fit within the outlines of the design.
For numbers I realized that it made a stronger design if you use a dramatic value contrast between the numbers and the surrounding space. Strong value or color contrast is a good thing to keep in mind for any designs.
A border is an easy way to unify a design.