Tag Archives: garden improvements

Roman Mosaic Fish in a Garden Wall


This is my step by step explanation (for anybody who might find it useful!) of how I made a mosaic on a building block for placing into an existing garden wall:

1. Source a breeze block that can be easily fitted into your garden wall.

2. Draw out guidelines for the design on a piece of brown craft paper, within a rectangle the size of the block. Tape it down to a suitable piece of board. In my case, I was recreating the same fish mosaic that I’d made before on cement board because the client had seen it and commissioned one for her garden wall, so I had a photo of my previous mosaic to work from.

drawing on brown paper taped to board

3. Begin making the mosaic upside down on the paper, sticking the tesserae down with a soluble adhesive. Some mosaic artists use PVA, but I prefer to use wallpaper paste, as in my experience it works better for this process.

fish completed

borderline completed

working on the background

4. Once complete, use a craft knife to cut the mosaic out from the surplus brown paper. Check that it fits the block!

5. Prepare the block by sealing the surface with a coat of diluted PVA (approximately 1 part PVA to 5 parts water).

6. Mix the grout that you have chosen. For this project, I’ve used a light grey (BAL wide joint)

pre-grouting the mosaic

7. Pre-grout the mosaic so that the gaps between the tesserae (interstices) are filled. Remove grout from the tesserae by carefully wiping it away with a well wrung damp cloth.

carefully remove grout from surfaces of tesserae

8. Now mix the adhesive. This should be a cementitious tile adhesive. Apply the adhesive to the prepared surface of the block as evenly as possible and rake with a notched trowel.

9. Lift the mosaic, still on the brown paper, and hover it over the block, (paper side up!!) When you are in the correct position, lower it gently into place.

10. Pat down over the brown paper firmly with a grouting trowel. (I think it is useful to put a flat board over the mosaic and tamp down over the board, as this helps to ensure a flush finished surface) Allow the adhesive to set.

sponging the brown paper prior to peeling off

11. Sponge off the brown paper. Allow water to thoroughly soak into the paper for quite a few minutes before carefully peeling it away.

12. Re-grout the mosaic, clean off and allow to set. Grind away any rough edges and then seal the surface with a stone sealant. The mosaic block is ready to be fitted into your garden wall.

As you might have noticed, I didn’t remember to photograph every stage but I hope that this is still a helpful guide. I will post a photo of it in situ once it has been fitted into the garden wall as soon as possible…………….

and here it is ready to be fitted into place

Advertisements

Magnificent Mosaic Stepping Stones – Workshop at Hulme Community Garden Centre


We had such a lovely day at Hulme Garden Centre, making our mosaics in the straw bale classroom. The group was a friendly bunch – 5 in total – and everybody made a mosaic stepping stone. The quickest workers also made mosaic wall plaques and the others had time to make an extra stepping stone – smaller and more abstract – whilst these were getting completed.

lots of hard work and concentration……..

using tile nippers to cut accurate shapes…..

making careful colour choices……..we had so many to choose from!

deciding on details and finishing touches……

and here’s how they’re looking after a light clean……(still setting)

Jude’s sail boat

Carey’s heart with initials

Mareen’s floral design

Russell’s dragonfly

Maureen’s abstract piece

Anita’s abstract piece with heart motif

My frog

Anita’s butterfly

Your Comments:

“Wow don’t they look great Tracey I had a great day and really pleased with the stepping stones. I thought the venue was also really good. Thanks very much, best wishes Maureen”

 

“Hi Tracey
The mosaics look fab!
Russell & I really enjoyed the session.
(Russell was seeing mosaics when he closed his eyes…you’ve really inspired him back into doing art himself!!)
Could we please also order 2 large, 2 medium and 2 small stepping stone moulds and 2 pairs of nippers and collect at the same time we collect our ‘works of art!’.
Many thanks,
Anita & Russell”

Our next workshop at Hulme Community Garden Centre is on Saturday 9th June when we’ll be making mosaic plant pots for the garden. Again, we’ll use frost resistant ceramic tiles and glass mosaics as well. Fancy joining us?

Here’s where to book: http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/products?tags=Week-end+Mosaic+Courses

Photos by Matilda Wigley, Rosalind Wigley and Tracey Cartledge

a Community Mosaic Project that is very very local………………


Most of us rely on a few strong characters in our communities to drive initiatives for change and the commitment and dedication of these individuals is to be greatly admired.

Liz is one of these treasured assets in my own neighbourhood so when she approached me just over a year ago, together with Angie and Becky from the Oswald Road Community Garden Group, and told me what was going on,  I was delighted to agree to the project.

In their spare time, the team of volunteers has carried out the improvements to the small green space along Oswald Road in Chorlton  adjacent to the fenced sports ground that’s come to be known as ‘The Field of Oz’. Planting includes a herb wheel and two spiralling lines of fruit trees and shrubs.

They have been gradually building on their achievements, applying for any community support and grants that they can find. A mosaic project was seen as a great way to introduce some year round colour, engage awareness from more local people and provide a fabulous opportunity for children at Oswald Road Primary School to be involved in making a mosaic for a community space.

 

 

The mosaic was designed and created by children from Oswald Road Primary School with the help and support of Mrs. Appleby in the spring and stored over the summer. Once the new school year began, we arranged a date and Becky, Liz and I installed the mosaic together. Here you can see Liz and I putting the finishing touches to it!

An official celebratory ‘opening’ of the mosaic will take place soon…………

How to Mosaic and Meet New People


We’ve been back at Chorlton Central for 6 weeks now since the summer break and there are lots of lovely mosaic projects underway.

Mosaic Flower Pot by Vicky

One or two busy bees in our group are efficiently producing wonderful handmade mosaic gifts, such as mirrors and fridge magnets, as Christmas presents for their nearest and dearest.

We’re planning to have a group exhibition in the spring and very soon I’ll be organising a visit to Victoria Baths, where we’re hoping the exhibition will take place. Confirmation and further details to follow….

So, if this sounds like something that you would like to be part of and you live in the Manchester area, why not join us? We still have enough space for two or three more people to join the group.

For further details, click here.

Counting Sheep?


As the project feature goes to press in Issue 5 of Simply Homemade Magazine, we’ve introduced this Special Edition stepping stone kit of a cute woolly sheep to the online collection.

Its a bit bigger than our others – 320mm diameter – and includes a pretty glass mosaic border detail. Hope you like it!!

Valerie’s Mosaic Masterpiece


Looks Great Grouted

As there wasn’t quite enough time to grout her mosaic on the day, Valerie finished her mosaic off at home. For anybody who needs longer to complete the mosaic work, we provide a take away grout kit supported by a demo during the Sunday afternoon of the Week-end Mosaic Course.

Masterpieces of the April Mosaic Week-end Course


From sketch to

Finished and grouted mosaic by Leoni

from observation photo

to this completed mosaic

Prize for the first person to identify the flower in a comment to this post……..

Photos of the other pieces produced coming soon!