Monthly Archives: July 2011

From Walled Garden to Mosaic Masterpiece

A lovely group of people, a fabulous venue, a full week-end dedicated to making mosaics….the only thing missing was the weather. Although, we can’t really complain as the brief hour of glorious sunshine kindly coincided with our session of drawing and photography in the beautiful Walled Garden at Norton Priory…..timed to perfection!!

The Walled Garden delighted all of our course participants – not surprisingly – with its ever-changing display of colour and form. The group enjoyed exploring and took time to create oil pastel studies and photos for later reference. There was no shortage of inspiration….

And here’s how the mosaic work took shape after we returned to the studio:

Inspired by the Himalayan Blue Poppy

A blaze of summer colours, framed by one of the old brick arches

allium giganteum, like pompoms on sticks!

The vibrant colours of the garden

Poppy and Poppy Heads

Hydrangeas, almost finished............

Here’s some of July’s group grouting their finished mosaics

Grouting for Glory

Done & Dusted!!

Not all of the work was captured on camera but more images will appear soon in our Mosaic Masterpieces online Exhibition……………….

Well done everybody – the quality of the work produced this week-end was exceptional!

How to Make a Mosaic Flower Pot

Here is my step-by-step guide to show you how I created this cheerful, summery mosaic flower pot for the garden. You can also buy a kit to help you to make your own!!

You will need:


  • Plain 29cm terracotta flower pot – B & Q (price £4.50)
  • LTP Mattstone Impregnating Sealer – Al Murad Tile Shops or similar
  • Acrylic paint (Daler Rowney, hooker’s green) – local art & craft suppliers/art shop/or online: £2.65/120ml tube
  • Cementitious tile adhesive (outdoor quality) – Topps Tiles or Tiles UK, eg. BAL Rapidset Grey 5kg, £10.49
  • Grout (outdoor quality, wide joint, grey) – Topps Tiles or Tiles UK, eg. BAL Wide Joint Grout Grey, 3.5kg £10.49


  • China marker
  • Tile nippers
  • Safety specs
  • Grout squeegee 

All the above items available from Tracey Cartledge website: 

  • Marker pen and pencil
  • Hammer/foam sheet
  • Straight line tile cutter
  • Paint brush
  • Spatula/glue spreader
  • Tubs to mix in
  • Cloths

Seal the pot

Seal the pot both inside and out with impregnating sealer, as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Paint the inside and outer lip of the pot with green acrylic paint. Choose a shade lighter than the result you’d like because it darkens as it dries.

Once the paint is dry, mark the positions for your daisies on the pot in pencil. Try to get them equally spaced on directly opposite sides of the pot. When you are happy with the position, confirm your lines with marker pen.

Break up white tiles with a hammer to produce random shapes, big enough for the petals. Do the same with the yellow for the daisy centres. Wear safety specs for this task and cover the tile with a piece of foam sheet or thich fabric to prevent shards from flying around.

Use the tile cutter to cut narrow strips of light green for the blades of grass and dark green for the flower stem. Make four slightly wider strips of dark green to use for the two halves of the leaf shapes.

Draw guide lines onto your tile pieces with the china marker and then use the tile nippers, gradually working nip by nip around the outline, to refine the shapes for 2 daisy centres, 16 white petals, 4 leaves, little squares for the stems and plenty of grass blades (mine needed 35!!).

Assemble all the daisy pieces ready to apply onto the first side of the pot. Mix up a small amount of tile adhesive in a tub or paper cup and, wearing gloves, start to fix the pieces into place. Butter the adhesive onto the reverse of the daisy centre to start with, using an old knife or spatula, to a thickness of approximately 2mm. Press each piece firmly into place. Allow to set. Gently clean off the excess adhesive with a damp cloth. 

Repeat this procedure for the second daisy and then for the grass blades and background blue sky. For my pot, I added some recycled crockery, glass beads and glass mosaic squares for extra texture and interest. Leave to fully set – preferably overnight.

Now its time to grout! I have chosen grey as I feel it sits back quietly and does not compete with the colours in this design. Once you have mixed the grout, plop it onto the mosaic surface. Then use a squeegee to spread it across with a downwards motion, encouraging it to fill all the gaps. Work your way all around the pot. 

Remove excess grout first with the squeegee and then with a damp cloth. Take care to uncover any pieces that sit lower than their neighbours if, like me, you have used tile pieces of varying thickness. Leave to set for about 15 minutes. Finally, use a dry cloth to buff up your mosaic work. Remove any grout from the painted rim with a damp cloth and if necessary, touch up with the green acrylic paint. 


One Gorgeous Mosaic Flower Pot!!


Pupils Sign their School in Mosaic

Year 6 children at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School in Knutsford have created a fabulous farewell gift for their school – a huge mosaic sign in the design of their school emblem!!

The project has been co-ordinated by Mary Johnson on behalf of the school’s PTA and has involved all of  the Year 6 children, with extra help from pupils in Y5, Y4 and Y3. Mary arranged for me to run workshops with the children over a couple of days. They all listened very carefully and worked diligently to achieve these wonderful results, grasping the techniques involved remarkably fast.

Also on hand to help throughout the making process, ex St. Vincent’s pupil Ishbel (who now attends Hull University) very kindly gave up her time to help and inspire the youngsters.

All fixed down, grouting next.......

On Monday the sign will be grouted and then installed in pride of place on the front of the school building. It is a lovely way for the children to show their appreciation for everything that St. Vincent’s has given to them during their time at the school.

Look what other people are making and selling in mosaic!!

Just spotted these two pieces on Etsy and thought you might be interested:

Poseidon's Bottle Mosaic

The first one is from Waschbear Designs. You can see more of their lovely mosaic products in their EtsyShop:

Green and Bronze Mosaic Stained Glass Switch Plate Cover
Green and Bronze Mosaic Stained Glass Switch Plate CoverGreen and Bronze Mosaic Stained Glass Switch Plate CoverGreen and Bronze Mosaic Stained Glass Switch Plate CoverGreen and Bronze Mosaic Stained Glass Switch Plate Cover
The second (above) is an over sized mosaic switch plate cover created with a beautiful vivid green stained glass and a bronze colored Van Gogh stained glass in the center. It is accented with millefiori glass beads, charcoal coloured grout and comes with 2 matching mounting screws. By Susan Walters