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Thu, Jul 04, 2024

Creating a Mosaic Bird Wall Hanging: A Step By Step Guide by Ellen Nolet


In this blog post, Ellen Nolet gives us an inside look at how she made her beautiful Mosaic Bird Wall Hanging. She breaks down the whole process, from picking out the right materials to adding those final touches. Ellen's step-by-step guidance makes it easy for anyone to give it a try.

 

A big thank you to Ellen for sharing her know-how and inspiring us with her gorgeous work!


My name is Ellen Nolet and I live on the Gold Coast and emigrated to Australia 40 years ago from The Netherlands where I studied Fashion Design and Illustration.

 

My journey with mosaics started 25 years ago when I met a mosaic artist at a year long Art and Craft TAFE course in Sydney. She introduced me to the possibilities and techniques of mosaic, and I fell in love.

 

I have since studied numerous courses and books, but also experimented a lot. I taught mosaic for many years in Sydney, The Southern Highlands of NSW and the Gold Coast.

 

I primarily sell my work at the Royal Queensland Art Society in Broadbeach on The Gold Coast, but also at the Gold Coast show as well as through school art exhibitions, private commissions and friends.

 

I purchase the "fancy tiles" from "The Mosaic Store", but others from Marketplace and Bunnings (mainly 10x10cm wall tiles). In the 25 years that I have created mosaics I ended up with lots and lots of jars with bits and pieces, even vintage tiles, and it's great to be able to use them in my work.

 

 

I love different textures and shapes in my designs and cut lots of tiles by hand. It can take several weeks to finish a bird wall hanging (50x60 cm), from planning which tiles and colours to use, to gluing and grouting the final design... it's not like a painting where you can just paint over it.

 

Every mosaic I create is unique. Even at 75 years of age, I continue to have new ideas and find inspiration from new tiles at The Mosaic Store and from magazines, Pinterest and Art galleries.

 

 

LIST OF MATERIALS AND INSTRUCTION OF HOW TO CREATE THIS MOSAIC BIRD WALL HANGING

 

  • Sheet of 1.2mm MDF (90x60 cm)
  • Jigsaw
  • Sealer (diluted PVA glue)
  • A free design of a fantasy bird, drawn on the MDF
  • Lots of different styles and colours of tiles, dots, petals, puzzle pieces and 2x2 cm tiles to cut in half and triangles
  • Weldbond glue
  • Grout
  • 3D rings and wire for hanging

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

The hardest part is cutting the shape out of the MDF with a jigsaw.


I clamp it on a worktop and take my time, wearing a mask and goggles... not a lot of fun here in Qld when it is 35°C or more... so in the winter months I cut more shapes (hearts, flowers, leaves, fairies)

 

 

The next step is to sand the edges lightly and seal the front, back and sides and let dry.

 

Draw on your design and think about which tiles and colours you are going to use. Spread some tiles out and see what works. The designing part can be tricky because there is so much choice in tiles nowadays, not 25 yrs ago when I started. But I find it exciting to come up with different ideas and also it is a very creative process.

 

Take your time, experiment a bit and take photos on your phone to see what it looks like, often it helps you to see your work more clearly.

 

Mosaic the edges too, will look more professional.

 

I use often black grout with bright colours and also paint the back of the bird with black paint.

 

Good luck and have fun...

 

Ellen Nolets Mosaic Bird Hangings
Ellen Nolets Mosaic Bird Hangings

Ellen's Favourite Mosaics

Ellen's Favourite Mosaic Pieces

Ellen's Favourite Mosaic Pieces

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