Who doesn't like getting some insider information, a few tips to make the job easier? We all do! In today's 'How to Mosaic Newsletter' I've featured our Top 10 Mosaic Tips that will not only save you time and money but will also get you a better result.
So here they are.... Our Top 10 Mosaic Tips
If you are in a hurry to finish a mosaic don't be tempted to use a hair dryer or place your mosaic in front of a heater. Adhesive needs time to cure properly and speeding up the process may weaken it. Cure time refers to the time it takes for the chemical bond to activate and strengthen.
When making a mosaic occasionally stop, stand away from the mosaic and squint your eyes. This will reduce the amount of detail you are seeing and possibly reveal design flaws or imbalances. It will also help you to get a better sense of the colours.
If you lose some tiles during the grouting process you will have to re-glue them, not just simply rely on the grout to hold the piece. Grout has no adhesive qualities. The correct process is to clean the piece and the area from where it came, re-glue the tesserae and re-grout after the adhesive has dried.
Create an inspiration file. Start collecting images or ideas that you come across. Sources of inspiration can include photos from magazines, photos that you've take or even pieces of gift wrapping paper. If surfing the internet, create a favourites directory of the website images that inspire you.
Finding it hard to simplify a design? Trace your design onto tracing paper using a thick pen; this will stop you adding too much detail. Repeat the process if you need to further refine your design further.
Clear plastic party cups come in handy for mixing grout and adhesive. Not only are they cheap and disposable but because they are see through you can make sure all the powder is mixed completely. Before you grout your project, put a small amount of dry grout in a plastic bag and label it with the projects name. This will come in handy if you need to do touch ups or repairs later on.
To get a longer life from the wheels of your nippers rotate them periodically. Before you first start using your nippers get a permanent marker a draw a line where you first start using them. You will eventually return to the line as you rotate them, which will signal its time for new wheels. Doing this will give you a sharp cutting edge and increase the blades life.
You can protect the edges and bottom of your base from grout by using masking tape. Simply tape up the edges prior to grouting and remove it after you have grouted and cleaned the mosaic.
When applying adhesive make sure you clean off any excess when you've finished for the day. If you don't, next time you start to work you'll find that you're laying your tiles on an uneven base.
Removing dried on Grout - If you have a project where you've left the grout on for too long and it has set hard, try using a wire pan scourer and was soapy water to remove the grout.