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Fri, Jun 14, 2024

Garden Bowl Inspiration: A Step-by-Step Guide by Kerian Greenaway



In this blog post, Kerian Greenaway shares how she made her beautiful mosaic garden bowl. Kerian takes us through each step of the process, from selecting the right materials to applying the finishing touches. She guides you step-by-step, making it easy for anyone to try creating their own.

 

Kerian's project showcases her talent and attention to detail. She explains how she selects her tiles, lays out her colour palette, and carefully applies each piece to achieve a balanced and attractive design. The combination of colours and shapes makes her mosaic stand out.

Thank you, Kerian, for sharing your mosaic creations with us and providing such a helpful guide. Your work brings inspiration to those who want to add a personal touch to their gardens.

 

Tools:

 

 

What I do:

 

On a bowl that’s 47cm wide, it uses 56-57 tiles on the top rim. I lay out my colour selection on the table first so that I get the balance of colours – staggered and definitely not uniform! I usually have about 4 different colours – in this example, they are tones of green.

I use a mini caulking gun and silicone to apply all my tiles. I try and work as cleanly as possible with as little silicone on the front of the tiles. I start from the rim of the bowl first – applying the silicone directly to the bowl in small sections and then placing the 2.5cm tiles. Silicone allows some flexibility so you have time to ensure they are placed evenly around the rim. I like to have another two rows of the 2.5cm tiles on the inside bowl and break them up using different tiles – in this case, I’ve used red, orange, yellow and green sticks – randomly laid out and again applying the silicone directly to the bowl.

 

 

 

 

When applying the adhesive, I am generous with the silicone and use a small knife to wipe away any excess that might ooze out as you apply pressure. If you leave the excess to dry, it will make it more difficult to lay your tiles close to each other as it will form a hard lump. When I lay the square tiles to the rim, I offset from the row above and try not to have the same colour duplicated directly below – I prefer a random look.

Then it’s a matter of laying your tiles in the design you want. This bowl is “flowers” and lots of dots and circle fillers in between. My aim is to have very little space between the tiles so very few grout lines. I will often place the tiles on the table to see what shape to use and then glue them in the bowl.

 

 

 

 

With the tiles, I do them individually and silicone the back of the tile before placing in the bowl. For the very small dots, I will put a blob of silicone on the bowl and, using the tweezers, place the dot. I’m systematic in that I place the next flower design directly next to the previous flower or place a few circles or dots and then the flower. This will reduce too many gaps where it’s just grout. I also use micro-dots where needed – again to ensure fewer areas of grout.

 

 

 

 

With the tiles, I do them individually and silicone the back of the tile before placing in the bowl. For the very small dots, I will put a blob of silicone on the bowl and, using the tweezers, place the dot. I’m systematic in that I place the next flower design directly next to the previous flower or place a few circles or dots and then the flower. This will reduce too many gaps where it’s just grout. I also use micro-dots where needed – again to ensure fewer areas of grout.

 

I’ve found as a tip before grouting, I wipe over all of the tiles with Mineral Turpentine to get as much excess silicone off the tiles. Once all of your tiles are completely dry (usually I leave them for a couple of days), it’s time to grout. Grout colour is everyone’s personal choice – for birdbaths, I go as dark as possible so that it hides the dirt and of course makes the tiles pop!

 

I’m very hands-on when grouting, so I use 3 or 4 disposable gloves on my dominant hand and one on the other. I work from the rim and like to grout the outside edge first and then the top rim. Take your time on the edge to try and avoid getting too much grout down the sides of the bowl (finger marks). Grout the bowl completely, ensuring no gaps. I use Chux (I know – not the norm!). I like to wipe off the excess grout with a dry Chux (bit of brute strength) and then very lightly use a little water with another Chux (or two) to get it as clean as possible. I do not like seeing excess grout on the tiles, and I spend a lot of time using the sharp knives to clean all the grout off the tiles (my OCD 😊).

 

I add an additional row of tiles to the outside of the bowl. For me, it serves two purposes – one, it covers the grout at the edge of the tiles/bowl and secondly, it is also aesthetically pleasing when looking at the bowl from a distance to see a tile feature rather than the plain terracotta. When all completely dry, I give it a coat of Grout and Tile Sealer.

 

 

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