When I was filming my TV appearance on ‘Crafty Beggars in the House’ the lovely Julie and Wendy asked me for my Top Mosaic Tips. As I started to write them down I realised it would make a nice little series of articles.
So, here are my TOP TIPS on getting started if you are new to mosaic making. I hope you enjoy them and I an happy to answer any questions you may have.
TOP TIPS: To get you started on mosaic making
THE TRADITIONAL ART OF MOSAIC MAKING
MOSAIC ART is one of the most ancient art forms used by the ancient Greeks, the Romans and several other cultures throughout the centuries. Like any great art, there has been ‘phases’ and periods’ throughout history from the traditional Roman style, the geometric Greek patterns, Byzantine and Gaudi to name a few. Mosaic art is still relevant today and again, takes many forms. The end result is totally unique and very different to any other art form.
Mosaics are incredibly versatile. They can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Extremely durable and hardwearing they last for ages. They can be decorative, practical, tiny, huge, delicate and robust, 2D or 3D. They are sometimes very heavy! Traditional, contemporary, pictorial, abstract – they can be anything your imagination can think of.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The first mosaic I ever made was a small coaster and it took me all afternoon. I still have it, my lucky mosaic that comes with me on exhibitions and demonstrations.
Whenever I give lessons I usually ask people to send me an idea of what they would like to mosaic. To be honest, most people over estimate what they will be able to achieve in a first lesson. One person bought along a picture of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Another saw my ‘Robin’ mosaic and asked if they would be able to make that in an afternoon – I said ‘I hope not, it’s took me ages to make and I found it very challenging’!! So keep it simple, a coaster, mirror or trivet is a good starting point. You can then progress to pots, door numbers and small hanging plaques.
There are all sorts of surfaces that you can mosaic on. Obviously wood but also slate, stone, mirror, tiles – in fact anything that is fairly flat and non-flexible. I often mosaic on terracotta roof tiles, they are flat, weatherproof and durable, plus I am recycling so it’s a win-win situation all round.
INDOOR or OUTDOOR?
Mosaics are great for indoor or outdoor spaces and look lovely in a garden setting. I have a lovely sun/moon on my shed. Make sure you decide in advance where it is going to go as you may need to use different materials and adhesives for outside display. Mosaic pots overflowing with herbs look delightful and just imagine a lizard creeping through your rockery, or a sunshine stepping stone.
So there are some tips to get you thinking and ready to start. Next time we will look at INSPIRATION and MATERIALS