How to Do Mosaics

Mosaics are works of art created by using glass or ceramic tiles and grout to make a picture. They date as far back as 1500 BC and are all over the world. Mosaics adorn the ceilings in cathedrals with elaborate details or they can be found in a simple pattern on the coffee table in your home. With practice, you can create a custom mosaic all your own.
Preparing to Create Your Mosaic Art
1,Select the material you wish to use. Pieces of material used in a mosaic art are called tesserae. They can be glass, stones, porcelain, seashells, or anything else you can find. You will also want to gather together any objects you might want to include.
2,Pick the foundation to adhere the mosaic tiles on. Tables, planters, birdbaths, or walking stones are just a few ideas to use.
3,Find a pattern you wish to make into a mosaic.
4,Transfer the design to your base. Lay it on a flat surface and rough lay the tesserae. Use glass or tile cutting tools to cut pieces to the desired size. You can also use a hammer to break pieces as well. Make sure the pieces are clean of any dirt or debris before laying them out.
5,Mix mortar per manufacturer recommendations. Apply it to the foundation using a trowel or spatula. While still wet, gently affix the mosaic tiles by pushing them into the mixture. Apply tiles starting in one corner of the design and work across in rows. Make sure you leave enough space between pieces for grout. You may also choose to put the mortar directly on the tile as if you are buttering it like a piece of toast. Apply the buttered piece directly to the foundation and press down to affix it in place.
6,Let the mortar set. Time varies depending on usage, so follow manufacturer recommendations. For pieces in your home, the timing is roughly 24 hours. Outdoor mosaics will need to set for 72 hours. Clean the mosaic tiles once more to clear away any extra mortar that may have risen to the top.
7,Prepare the grout mixture. Grout comes in many colors and there are colors you can add to the grout to change the coloring. Choose a color that accents your mosaic. Mix the grout by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
8,Apply the grout using a spatula. Fill in the creases between the tiles. The grout should cover the mosaic enough to fill the gaps.
9,Let the grout set for 20 minutes, or the time advised by the manufacturer. Wipe the mosaic with a clean sponge and warm water. Rinse out the sponge regularly as you wipe away grout from the surface of the tiles.
10,Seal the mosaic with varnish. This will coat the tiles and safeguard against damage, especially for outdoor mosaics subjected to fluctuating temperatures and adverse weather conditions. It also will give a high gloss shine that will make the colors stand out.

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