Mosaic artists use two methods in making mosaics. These methods are the same in terms of preparation and end results but they differ in tile application.
Every mosaic project starts with the selection of a pattern. You can draw the design if you’re good at it or you can have it photocopied or traced. Place the design over the base. If this is your first time to do mosaic work, you can use images from coloring books; not only are the books inexpensive but the images are simple as well. There are also online resources that provide mosaic patterns for would-be artists.
The image should be appropriate to the size of the platform. Re-scaling is not that easy although you can also do some re-scaling if you think that the platform is too large for the image.
After choosing the design for your mosaic, it is now time to choose the right tesserae. The size and color of the tesserae depends on the design. There is a wide range of tesserae choices in the market so be careful in choosing the ones you will use. There are also online guides to help you in choosing the perfect tesserae for your project. Mosaic kits are also available and it usually comes with different designs including the needed materials. The size and color of the tesserae will have a large impact on the design. Mixing colors is very important.
You can use the direct method for your project. In this method, the tiles will be glued directly to the base or the surface using adhesive. You need to wait until the adhesive dries; it may take a day or so before it completely dries. When it’s already dry, you can now apply grout.
This method is best suited for beginners. You won’t get confused when gluing the tiles. When gluing the tiles, you can put glue to the tiles individually or you can put the glue on the base (enough for about six tiles). If you choose the latter, you should do it quickly because some adhesives dry fast. You can still move the tile a bit if you think that the position is not right; you need to do it fast before the glue sets in. This method is best suited for walls.
Another method is the indirect but this is recommended for experienced mosaic artists only. This is the gluing of mosaic tiles upside-down. As you can see, it is a bit confusing. A gummed paper is used and you will place the tesserae face down. After you’ve set all the tiles, the paper will be flipped over to the surface where you plan to put the mosaic. The gummed paper will easily wash off with water. This method is best for glass tiles, marble, and pebbles.
If you’re using ceramic tiles, you should be organized especially when gluing the tiles. Intricate designs are better done using this method. Large scale mosaic projects usually employ this method before placing the work on the actual site. This method is also suited for floor mosaics.
Making mosaics is fun. You can start by creating simple mosaics. You also need to choose between the methods mentioned earlier. Aside from that, you also need to choose which surface to work on – whether you’re going to create a wall or a floor mosaic. Work confidently and slowly to achieve a great looking work.