There are two basic methods to
mosaic work - the direct method and the indirect
method or sometime called the reverse or stone
method. In the direct method, the pieces of
material are directly fixed right side up onto a
base and then grouted. In the indirect method,
pieces are temporarily fixed right side down onto
a removable backing which holds the design
together. This is then either placed in a mold and
filled with cement or pressed into a prepared
adhesive bed. Once the cement is set, the stone is
turned out from the mold to reveal the design,
right side up cast in the cement. In the case of
an adhesive bed, the backing material is removed
to expose the design, right side up which is then
grouted. Another option is to place the prepared
design into a mold which is then filled with
The advantage of the indirect
method is you create a very smooth, flat surface.
You can also create and assemble the design in one
place ahead of time, and then install it in a
different location later. The disadvantage is that
the design must be assembled face down before
applying it to the base or casting in the mold.
This often requires extra steps in the design or
Tesserae are the
individual pieces of material you will arrange to
form your mosaic. Most people think of those
little square pieces of tile seen in early Roman
mosaics or in swimming pools. Today the term
applies to anything pieced together to form a
design. When working in the indirect method, you
must consider how the depth and shape of some
items will affect their appearance in the mosaic.
Items that are spherical or have a high relief do
not rest flat against the removable backing. When
cast in a mold, only the portion that is actually
fixed flat to the backing will show unless you
take steps to protect the curvature of the object.
For that reason, indirect mosaics are generally
made with tesserae that have a relatively flat
Traditional Tile Tesserae
- Vitreous Glass: Know as Venetian glass it is
non porous, stain resistant, and frost proof.
Common sizes are ¾" (2 cm) or 3/16"
(1 cm) squares with a flat top face and a
ridged and beveled back. They are available in
a wide range of colors.
and Silver Leafed: Commonly found as ¾" (2
cm) squares. They are made by sandwiching gold,
silver, copper or gold-alloy leaf between a clear
top layer (sometimes colored) and a colored
(generally a transparent yellow, green or blue)
base. They have flat or rippled surfaces.
Handmade irregular rectangles of opaque glass.
Generally about ¾" in size with a pitted,
irregular, and very reflective surface.
- Unglazed: Commonly found as 1" or
¾" squares stuck to a paper or plastic mesh. The color
is uniform throughout the entire tile.
Glazed: Includes wall and floor tiles, crockery, pottery, tableware and others. The color is a fired
surface layer over a clay base. They are a rich source for color, pattern, and texture.
Includes everything from beach or river pebbles to marble, granite, slate and
modern day stone tiles. They have a wide range of colors, textures and surfaces. Also included are
semiprecious stones - turquoise, lapis lazuli, alabaster, quartz and agate.
China & Porcelain
A finer form of ceramics, they are a good source for interest, pattern and
Shells and Mother of Pearl
Mother of pearl is the lustrous inner surface of shells like oysters
and abalone. Commonly used shell forms include spirals, scallops, snails, etc. and cover a wide
range of color, luster and size.
Includes mirror, colored glass, sea glass, glass nuggets, marbles, and pressed glass jewels
Bone, metals, buttons... just about anything you want can become tesserae in
concentrates primarily on using the mold or ‘stone’
method. Where applicable, we will include details
for the method of applying the design to a paper
type backing and setting into a prepared base.
Selecting the Base
can apply a mosaic to nearly any surface. When
opting for the indirect method your want to end up
with a very flat, even surface and this generally
means the application or location of your mosaic
dictates this. Examples include floors, table
tops, bird baths, fountains, stepping stones, and
counter tops. While gently curving surfaces
accommodate this method, like the bowl of a bird
bath, surfaces with a tight curves and turns won’t
allow you to properly seat the design while
attached to the removable base. In this case, the
direct method is much more accommodating. When
selecting a base think about the following:
- Does the base
shape or mold fit within the constrains of
- The shape should
be suited to the size of tesserae you use.
Gentle curves are easier, extreme curves can
require very small pieces in order to
"bend" the tesserae with the curve
and have a smooth result.
- Is it strong
enough to hold the combined weight of
tesserae, adhesive, and grout?
- Can you find the
correct adhesive or cement for the application
Surfaces and items commonly used with the
indirect method include but are not limited to:
- Cement: You can
add mosaic to pre-made concrete objects like
floors, steps, birdbaths, etc.
- Molds: There is
a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and uses
available today: From stepping stones to
planters to benches, bird baths, bricks, doors
stops, picture frames, coasters, and the list
- Wood: Can be cut
to shape and size easily, making it ideal for
many situations. You can mosaic on most any
wood surface, but be aware that no wood is
100% waterproof and wood can sag or warp.
Using a high grade plywood (at least ½"
thick) will provide a rigid support and help
counteract warping. You will want to
"tooth" (rough the surface of) and
seal the wood before applying the mosaic as
Is it strong enough to hold the combined weight of tesserae, adhesive, and grout?
Does the base shape have appeal and good proportions?
The shape should be suited to the size of tesserae you use. Gentle curves are easier, extreme curves
can require very small pieces in order to "bend" the tesserae with the curve and have a
Can you find the correct adhesive to adhere the
mosaic pieces to the base?
Backing Material for Tesserae
The removable backing is what the individual
pieces of the design are stuck to. The design is
then cast in a mold or applied to the prepared
surface of your mosaic base. The backing needs to
be able to hold the tesserae securely enough but
also allow for easy removal once the design is
embedded or cast. Some backing require you apply
the adhesive to the tesserae and others are
self-stick. Common backing include:
- Paper: The most
seen is a strong brown kraft type paper. The
tesserae are secured using a water soluble
glue or gum. The glue must be completely dried
before pressing the mosaic into the prepared
base. This method is most often used when the
design is being applied to a surface or when
the design is being composed in one location
and installed at another.
- Self-stick Films: Products like Contact®
paper and Mosaic Mount® are a clear plastic
sheet with an adhesive surface to stick the
tesserae down to. This type product is often
the choice when casting in a mold. It holds
the design securely in place while filling
the mold with wet cement/mortar. A paper
backing would not hold up to the wet
environment as well. Once cured and released
from the mold, the adhesive paper simply
pulls off, revealing the mosaic set in a
very smooth cement.
- When casting in
a mold, you want to a clear film so you can
see your pattern or be able to trace your
design onto the backing. It is also important
to keep your roll of backing from becoming,
bent, wrinkled, or creased. Any lines in the
backing will show up in the finished product!
There are different thicknesses available. The
thinner contact paper seems to seat in the
mold and stick to the tesserae better,
reducing seepage under the tesserae. It does
stretch more easily than thicker versions,
increasing the chance of wrinkle or curling
edges. Try several types to determine which
works best for you.
can set the dimensional objects on a
Contact® film, place it in the mold and then
fill carefully fill around them with fine
grain sand. After the stone is cast and
removed, the sand brushes away to show more of
the surface of those items. Be aware that the
resulting surface will have a grainy texture
Beside a base, tesserae, and adhesive the only tool you'll really need to start with
is a tile nipper. All other tools can be commandeered household items. As you work with different
tesserae, bases, and adhesives you will find it useful to add specific tools to your arsenal.
Cutting Tools are used to shape and trim your tesserae
Tile Nippers are designed for cutting tiles. Good ones have tungsten-carbide cutting edges and
spring loaded handles. More expensive models have replaceable jaws and compound leverage. They are
suitable for most glass, ceramic, crockery, china, and the like.
- Tile Cutters are designed for scoring, cutting and snapping ceramic tile. They have a
tungsten-carbide wheel used to score, and a gripper used to break the tile along the score. They are
useful for long straight cuts and for use on wall and floor tiles.
- Glass Nippers have a set of disc shaped tungsten-carbide wheels set opposite on spring loaded
handles. They are used to cut glass, mirror, glass tiles, and the like in a manner similar to tile
Hammers of all types are useful. Ordinary household versions are suitable for breaking large tiles,
crockery, glass, mirror, and such into randomly shaped pieces. For more precise cutting of thick
materials like glass smalti or natural stone, a traditional mosaic hammer and hardie (also called a
bolster blade) may be preferred.
- Chopping Machine are a professional tool useful for high production.
- Glass Cutters are suitable for stained glass and mirror. Cutting curved shapes from these materials
is faster and easier.
For holding your
sorted tesserae, mixing cement and grouts,
adding color, and holding water for cleaning.
Save those containers you were about to throw
out! You may not want to clean out that cement
or grout container.
personal choice and the adhesives. Trowels of
different sizes and types are useful for
cement-based adhesives. For small work plastic
spatulas, butter knives, and palette knives work
well. PVA and epoxy bases can be applied with
plastic spreaders, old brushes, toothpicks,
wooden sticks, etc.
Help push the grout over the mosaic and into the spaces between tesserae. They
need to be flexible so as not to scratch the surface. Plastic spatulas, squeegees, grout floats, or
even gloved hands will work.
Tools for Pushing and Prodding
Are handy for moving pieces into place and scraping out excess
mortar or grout. Wooden sticks, wooden scrapers, tweezers, dental probes, toothpicks, awls, wooden
clothes pins, pencils, and manicure tools are just some of the choices.
Safety Equipment must include.
Eye goggles to wear when cutting and breaking up your tesserae.
A dust mask or respirator to wear when mixing powdered grouts, adhesives, and cements.
Heavy duty gloves should be worn when breaking materials. Disposable or rubber gloves should be worn
when handling grouts, adhesives, and glues.
Always read and follow the safety instructions that come with the tools and materials used.
- Most poured stones made in a mold are cast
in a quick setting concrete. There are newer
quick setting concretes, colored concretes,
recipes for making your own. Whichever you
choose, make sure to follow the manufacturers
instructions for preparation, mixing, and
curing. The basic instructions are the same
whatever product you use.
- Grout is what is pressed into the spaces
between the tesserae in most mosaics It
unifies the design and strengthens the piece.
Like cement-based mortars (but with a finer
sand), grout comes in fine and coarse forms
for filling narrow and wide gaps
respectively. Some contain polymers for
added strength and flexibility. They come in
neutral, white, gray shades, black, and many
assorted colors. Use grout pigments or artists
acrylics to make a specific color.
- When making poured stones, reserve about 1/2
cup of the mixture used to fill the mold to
fill in (grout) any gaps or holes you find
after turning it out of the mold.
- When using the paper backing method, you
will embed the design into a mortar base.
After removing the paper you will need a grout
to fill in-between the tesserae. Select the
grout type and colors appropriate for the
Are needed for wiping off excess grout and general tidying up. Lint free rags,
sponges, and non-scratch nylon scouring pads are quite useful.
Lets Get Started
the Adhesive Backing
important for the adhesive backing to fit exactly
inside the mold. If it is to large it will wrinkle
and cement will seep under; too small and you will
have a line in the finished surface. If you
frequently use a particular size mold, you may
want to make a template. A template also is a
valuable sizing guide when designing and laying
out a pattern specifically designed for the mold
you are using.
- Place the mold on a piece of poster board or
similar weight paper and trace around the
outside of the mold bottom.
- Carefully cut out just inside the line. The
more accurate you are now, the better your
finished product will be.
- Fit this template inside the mold and trim
as needed so it sits flat inside the mold.
This is the size your backing material will be
- You will want to leave at least a 1/4"
to 1/2" margin between your tesserae and
the stone edge. You may want to mark these
borders on your template as a gauge to make
sure your pattern will fit in the mold
- Use this template to trace onto the paper
side of the adhesive backing. Cut and double
check the fit inside the mold. Make needed
- If you are using the paper backing method,
you will need a piece of paper large enough to
accommodate the design with some extra around
the edges for handling. Transfer the
installation margins onto the paper.
Designs and Patterns
comes from everywhere: nature, cities, surfaces,
feelings, dreams, pattern books, magazines, and
the list goes on. The choice is entirely up to
you. You can go from totally abstract to precisely
planned. Sketching out a basic cartoon can help
you to solidify your idea, as well as to plan for
color and movement. You may want to use (or
modify) an existing pattern. There are many
published patterns already designed to fit a
particular shape mold. You can also design your
own pattern. Use the template as a guideline for
size and margins. Either way, once you have your
design finalized, you need to have 3 copies: The
original design to use as a reference and layout
guide when cutting the tesserae. A second to cut
up for pattern pieces. The third will be for
assembly in the mold and needs to be the reverse
of the original. When creating the pattern copies
keep in mind:
- It can be helpful to number the pieces, mark
grain directions, color information, etc. on
all copies before separating them. This will
ensure that your pattern piece has the same
number as the layout copy and the assembly
- You are going to
be sticking the tesserae onto the adhesive film
or paper backing "upside down", that
is the front side of the design will be facing
the bottom of the mold. You will need to reverse
your design in order to assemble the pieces this
way. There are a couple of ways to accomplish
- Trace the design onto the film
(non-sticky) side of the adhesive paper
while it is still attached to the paper
backing. Don’t forget to mark edge
allowances. When you separate the film for
assembly, your design will be upside down.
- When making your final working copies, use
tracing paper (or similar translucent paper)
for the assembly copy. You can then tape
this reversed side up to the film side of
your adhesive backing. Your numbers will be
backward, but it is still relatively easy to
see where pieces go. You will remove this
before casting the project in cement
- The pattern
piece copy can be made from mylar, tag board,
a heavy weight paper, cardstock, etc. What you
use depends on personal preference and how
durable you want the pattern to be. You can
cover paper patterns with clear contact paper
to make them stronger and water resistant. You
can trace the design onto an opaque contact
paper, cut this for your pieces, and then
stick them right onto the material you are
using. There are different approaches, which
you choose depends on construction materials,
how may times you plan to make the design, and
how may times you want to trace out the
- The space between tesserae is important.
Generally an 1/8" gap is used to allow
the cement to flow completely into the space
between tesserae. You can have wider or
narrower lines, it is up to you. You can cut
away the back line width on the pattern
using regular scissors or use special three
bladed "mosaic" shears, just
remember you need enough space between
pieces for the cement. From an aesthetic
point of view, bigger tesserae can support
wider lines, smaller tesserae, thinner
have a design, you will need to fill it with
color. Choose what you like! Layout your tesserae
and play with different combinations. Lay them on
your design to see how they work and look. Keep in
mind that each unit is a unit of color, texture,
size, form and brilliance. How they play off each
other will affect your design.
Be aware when choosing tesserae that they are
backed by color of the cement. If you are using
translucent or clear tesserae, their color will be
affected by the color of the cement you are
casting the design in. There are reflective tapes
that you can apply to the back side of your
tesserae to block the back ground cement color and
reflect the transmitted light. Follow the
manufacturers instructions for applying them to
Remember that the viewers eye will mix the
shapes and colors in your design. Instead of
covering a large area with the same tile, vary the
shades used to add interest (unless the effect you
want is a uniform block of color!). Grade
(transition) colors into each other by varying the
size and shape as they meet each other. Mix pieces
of differing colors together. Place opposite
colors next to each other for contrast. Make black
or gray lines to accent or separate design
elements or colors. Take advantage of patterns and
colors in your tesserae. Play, experiment, stand
back, look, rearrange, change, stand back,
look...until you are satisfied. Again, do what you
like and once you get started don't be afraid to
change or deviate as the project unfolds.
Cutting the Tesserae: With any new technique or tool it is a good idea to practice on scrap
materials (before you attack that one piece of really unique china you have). Work in a protected,
covered, easy to clean area; you'll be creating shards and stray pieces that can cut the
unsuspecting visitor. WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES! You can cut all your pieces ahead of time and lay them
out on your cartoon or base; or you can work on the fly - cutting and fixing as you go. The choice
is yours and depends on the complexity of the design, shape of the base, and the adhesive used.
Mosaic Nippers: Hold the nippers with the end of the handles in the palm of your cutting hand and
the rounded end of the jaws facing towards you. Using the thumb and forefinger of your other hand to
feed the tesserae (face up) into the jaws about ¼" (6mm), squeeze the handles together while
you press your thumb and forefinger together. Applying equal and opposite pressure will create a
straight break. Make diagonal lines by angling the nipper head and aligning your finger and thumb
with this direction. Cut curves by removing small bits until you achieve the curve desired. Concave
cuts are possible by modifying the applied pressure and a bit of practice!
Tile Cutters: Place the tile on a flat surface and use the cutting wheel to run a score (line) from
edge to edge. Center the flared anvil above the score and squeeze the handles gently. If all goes
well you will get a clean break along the score line.
Hammer: An ordinary hammer is useful for breaking large pieces or those too thick or too tough for
nippers. Hammers are an excellent way to achieve random pieces. To contain the mess, place your
pieces in a heavy towel or in a paper or plastic bag before striking.
Traditional Hammer and Hardie: The hardie needs to be secured at a height which is comfortable for
your working stance and with the chisel pointing up. Hold the hammer firmly but with a relaxed arm.
Hold the tesserae centered on the chisel tip with your thumb and forefinger. Swing the hammer down
from above, aiming to align the hammer tip with chisel tip of the hardie. Swing gently! Too strong a
swing will cause the tesserae to break more erratically. Only swing as forcefully as you need to.
Practice makes perfect.
Glass Nippers: Used similarly to mosaic nippers. Align the wheel with the direction of the cut you
want and squeeze. Changing the angle and amount of pressure will create differing curves and pattern
Glass Cutter: Hold the cutter in your favored hand and place the cutter wheel on the glass about
1/8" (3mm) in from the edge closest to you. Place the thumb of your other (guide) hand behind
the cutter head to prevent it from rolling back. Apply a firm, constant pressure straight down
through the cutter onto the glass and roll the cutter wheel away from you all the way across the
surface of the glass.
Breaking with Hands: Form both hands into fists and place the glass between your thumbs and index
fingers with the score line between your thumbs. Your fingers should be clenched underneath the
glass with knuckles touching. Hold the glass firmly at the end of the score. With a quick even snap
pull outward and roll your knuckles by spreading your thumbs apart to break along the score.
With Breaker-Grozier Pliers: Form one hand into a fist, placing the glass between your thumb and
index finger close to the score line. Position the flat jaw of the breaker-grozier pliers on the top
side of the glass with the jaw parallel to the score and as close to the end of the score as
possible. Hold the glass firmly in your hand and apply quick, even pressure by first pulling
outward, then snap down with the pliers.
Fixing the Design to the Adhesive Film or
have all the tesserae cut, fitted and are
satisfied with your layout, you will need to
transfer your design onto the adhesive backing,
front side down.
LAYOUT THE DESIGN
REVERSING THE PIECES
- All tesserae need to be clean and free of
dirt, grease, and dust. Allow all pieces to
dry thoroughly. Shells need to be soaked in
water for several days (changing the water
daily), then allowed to dry out over several
days. Pebbles need to be soaked overnight and
then rinsed until the water runs clear. Allow
them several days to dry out as well.
- Separate the adhesive film from its backing
and lay into the bottom of the mold, sticky
side up. Transfer the pieces to the adhesive,
front side down. Now you can see where having
a reverse pattern of your design comes in
handy! Once you are satisfied with the
placement of a tesserae, press down to seat it
firmly against the adhesive. If you find you
have misplaced a piece, gently pull it up
trying not to wrinkle or stretch the adhesive
film. Once all pieces are placed, gently slide
the adhesive backing with your design out of
the mold onto your work surface. (a good test
to see if all your pieces are securely held)
Again, press and make sure your pieces are
firmly held in place by the adhesive film.
Some suggest using a rubber float, wide piece
of wood, or similar object to help seat the
tesserae to the film.
- For the paper backing method: After the
design is set, your next step is to fix the
design onto the paper. The cut tesserae are
adhered face down using a water soluble glue
or gum. You want to use enough to hold the
piece to the paper flat but not so much that
removing the paper later becomes a major
chore. Experiment first with the amount of
glue and your tesserae can help you determine
what that happy medium is.
Preparing the Mold or Mortar Bed
Spray the mold bottom and sides with a release
agent. There are several commercially available,
check with your supplier. Vaseline® is used by
some. Apply liberally with a sponge brush and then
use a hair dryer to smooth. You don’t want any
ridges. Then tip the mold and gently slide the
adhesive sheet with your design into position in
the mold. Check your tesserae one last time. Also
make sure the edge of the adhesive film is lying
flat in the mold bottom and not curving up the
Since paper backed projects are pressed into a
prepared bed of mortar, you need to prepare the
surface and then apply the mortar according to the
Mixing and Pouring the Cement
Mix your cement according to manufacturer's
instructions. Generally you combine all dry
ingredients in a large enough container to
accommodate them and give you room to thoroughly
mix them. If you are coloring your cement add the
colorant to the dry ingredients and mix well. Take
a small sample and mix with liquid to test the
color. Color in cement fades as it cures. A
general rule of thumb is to mix the color 2 shades
darker than the finished color you want. Save a
small amount (1/2 cup or so) of the final dry mix
to use for filling in any gaps or pinholes you
find after you un-mold the project. The liquid is
then added to the dry ingredients and mixed. Be
aware that as you mix, you want to avoid
introducing air bubbles. Check the manufacturers
instructions for consistency, some cements are
mixed to a medium oatmeal, some more like brownie
It is best if you can pour the concrete into
the form in the place you intend to leave it to
cure. It is risky on several levels to move a mold
filled with cement. Make sure the mold sits level.
Start by pouring a thin layer around the edges to
help hold the adhesive film down. Cover the bottom
with a thin layer and then gently pat the top or
tap the mold to release any bubbles and work the
cement down between the tesserae. Continue filling
the mold until you reach the top or your desired
thickness. You don’t have to fill the mold to
the top but the thinner the concrete, the weaker
your project will be.
You want to ‘screed’ or level the surface
by taking a piece of wood or similar item that
will span the width of the mold and draw it across
the top to level and remove any excess cement.
Wipe the edge/lip clean. Again, tap your mold edge
and sides gently for a few minutes to release any
bubbles. Some people also tap the surface the mold
is sitting on. Be careful, this is more apt to
dislodge the tesserae from the adhesive backing.
Allow the mold to sit undisturbed for the required
amount of set time, based on manufacturers
In a paper backing project, gently press the
mosaic into the bed, paper side up. Allow the
cement to set enough to hold the design in place
so you can remove the paper but not so tight that
you can’t make any needed adjustments.
You need to now release the project from the
- Invert the mold onto several wooden dowels
that span width of the mold in a place where
your project can sit undisturbed for several
weeks. You may need to work your hands around
the edges to help loosen it. Hot towels on the
bottom or a hair dryer can help by making the
plastic mold more flexible.
- Peel off the adhesive film. Check the
surface for concrete films, seepage, gaps, pin
holes, etc. Wipe or pick away excess cement
now, while it is still soft. Mix up a bit of
your saved, colored, dry ingredients and rub
into any holes or gaps. Let it sit for 10 - 15
minutes and then wipe away the excess.
- Do not move your un-molded stone for at
least a week and it is better to let it sit
undisturbed for 30 days in order to achieve
full strength. It is important to keep it
elevated to allow air to circulate around all
- If you used the paper backing method, you
will now use a cloth or sponge to dampen the
paper with. You want to loosen and peel it
away from the tesserae without dislodging any
pieces. Once removed, you can reset any
loosened pieces and then allow the cement to
fully cure before grouting and cleaning.
Grouting an Embedded Design
the technique of filling in the spaces between
your tesserae. If you used the paper fixing method
and then set your design into a motor or cement
bed, you will need to fill in the gaps, or grout,
between your tesserae after removing the paper
baking. Generally, it is desirable to make the
grout level with the overall height of the mosaic
surface. Grout is just a fine textured version of
cement mortar. It unifies the design. Its color
enhances the design: and it adds strength.
- The choices of grout color are endless.
There are colored sands and pre-mixed grout
colors. You can make your own by adding grout
pigments or artists acrylics to your colored
sand or white grout mix.
- Allow the cement to properly cure according
to the manufacturer's recommendations. This
will be at least 24 hours for indoor mosaics,
72 hours for outdoor mosaics.
- Mix grout according to the manufacturer's
directions following all safety precautions.
Add color until you achieve the shade desired
noting that it will be slightly lighter when
dried. If you are not sure of the color, test
it using the piece you used earlier to test
the adhesive, or test on a small inconspicuous
spot on the actual mosaic piece. You don't
have to use the same color throughout the
- Scrape out any excess mortar between your
- Put on some gloves and spread the grout on
the surface using a plastic spatula, squeegee
or your hand. Make sure to push the grout down
into all spaces and cover the entire mosaic
- The grout needs to partially set before you
remove the excess. Refer to the manufacturer's
instructions, generally about 15-20 minutes.
Use a clean, lint free cloth or a damp sponge
to wipe off excess grout. Be careful not to
dig into the grout spaces pulling it
- Once you have removed the excess grout you
will have a haze over the surface. Buff it off
using a clean lint free cloth or crumpled
newspaper. If you have specks of grout stuck
to your tesserae remove them using a
non-scratch nylon scouring pad, wooden stick,
or similar tool that won't scratch your
Sealing and Protection
Some materials and applications benefit from
an application of sealant after the project has
cured or the grout is dried and cured. You also
want to protect your finished project from the
- After 30 days, you will want to seal the
top, sides and bottom of a poured project, no
matter where its final placement will be.
There are many concrete sealers available for
cement. Your supplier can offer suggestions.
Apply as directed by the manufacturer to the
grout lines, sides, and bottom. Avoid getting
it on the tesserae and wipe away any excess.
- Sealing pebbles brings out their true 'wet'
color. Other porous materials also benefit
from sealing. Sealers are available in a matt
or shiny finish. Read the bottle to see if it
fits your application.
- Projects placed
outside need to be protected from the elements.
If your area receives snow or is subject to
freeze thaw cycles, you may want to store it
indoors to keep it from cracking. If you are
creating a walkway, set the stones in a on a
sand bed (about 1") to provide drainage and
step back and admire your work!
|There are variations on the technique presented here and many excellent book resources (see
below) to help you expand your knowledge and creativity. As you experiment and work with different
materials you will discover what methods, tools, and supplies work best for you!
by Roger Ling Paperback
|Princeton University Press
Paperback / 1998 / 144pp
|The Art of Mosaics
by Joaquim Chavarria
Paperback / 1999 / 160 pp
|The Art of Mosaic Design: A Collection of
by J.Locktov - L.P.Clagett
Hardcover / 1998
by Connie Sheerin
Hardcover & Paperback / 2001 / 128 pp
by Elaine M Goodwin
|Trafalgar Square Publishing Ltd.
Hardcover / 2000 / 144 pp
|Encyclopedia of Mosaic Techniques (Encyclopedia
of Art Techniques)
by Emma Biggs
Hardcover / 1999 / 160 pp
by Leslie Dierks
|Sterling Publishing Co.
Hardcover / 1998 / 128 pp
by Kaffe Fassett & Candace Bahouth
|Taunton Books & Videos
Hardcover / 1999 / 160 pp
|The Mosaic Book : Ideas, Projects and Techniques
by Peggy Vance, Celia Goodrich-Clarke
|Trafalgar Square Publishing Ltd.
Paperback / 1996 / 128 pp
|Mosaic Workshop : A Guide to Designing and
by Emma Biggs, Tessa Hunkin
|Trafalgar Square Publishing, Ltd.
Hardcover / 1999 / 128 pp
from Mosaic Sundials / M. Koehl