Tag Archives: mosaic making

The Joy of Leponitt Wheeled Cutters


As most of the mosaic projects I worked on for many years were exclusively for public pavements with heavy foot traffic, I restricted the materials I used to frost resistant ceramic and natural stone or marble.

Glass mosaic is perfectly fine outdoors and is ideal for wall mounted mosaics and murals, but being small and thin, with champhered edges creating a slip plane it is unreliable for coping with freeze-thaw action on the ground over any long stretch of time ……….. The real point here is that it is only relatively recently ( 4 or 5 years ago) that I started working with vitreous glass mosaic.

Installing one of a series of mosaic features in Openshaw, Manchester

Now I know what a Luddite I have been!

Why did I struggle and shatter so many glass mosaics in my efforts to shape them down with nippers when I could have been using Leponitt wheeled cutters all along?!!

Its not that nobody mentioned it, they did. But having had experience of using a cheap inferior wheeled cutter many years ago I frankly dismissed the idea. Now I’m a total convert! I can’t get over how easily this tool breaks the glass mosaics and with such a clean line. Take my word for it, if you’re going to work with glass mosaic it’s well worth getting yourself some. It will save you both time and tiles. So glad that I’ve finally discovered them!!

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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.

Congratulations Sophie, hope you enjoy your MakeMosaic sunflower kit!!


Congratulations Sophie! Here's your prize.

A sunflower Mosaic Wall Plaque Kit is on its way to Sophie for correctly identifying the Crown Imperial flower featured in one of our Mosaic Masterpieces from the April week-end course at Norton Priory.


Mega Mosaic Masterpieces created at the April Week-end Course


With blue skies and warm sunshine, we couldn’t have been happier as we explored the delightful Georgian Walled Garden at Norton Priory, sketch boards and cameras at the ready………..

In the Walled Garden

So much colour and interest, it was difficult to settle on a subject to work with for the mosaic design…….

Working from sketch

working from both sketch

and photo for additional reference

As we worked steadily throughout Saturday afternoon, time whizzed by in a flash. Here’s some of the lovely smalti, glass mosaic and ceramic tiles we had to choose from:

In the next post, I’ll put up some images of the finished pieces. We’re also delighted to have received an invitation to display the work from April’s week-end as part of a forthcoming exhibition at Norton Priory. More details coming soon.

Also coming soon – Part 2 of How to Mosaic a Flower Pot

How to Mosaic a Garden Flower Pot – Part 1


For this project, I purchased a terracotta pot from a large chain DIY store in my area (yes, B & Q!). The first job is to seal it with diluted builder’s pva glue (mix half and half with water). Brush the pva sealant all over the surface, both inside and out.

Next, if you want to, paint the inside with acrylic paint. I used black for mine.

Use diluted pva to seal the pot and acrylic paint for the inside

Now you’re ready to start!

Decide on your design. Scratch your head a bit, have a look around for inspiration…..here’s some to help you. Simple patterns work well, either formal geometric patterns or more abstract, organic shapes. Keep it fairly simple.

If, like me, you want to create a design that requires pre-cut shapes, these have to be prepared next. Wearing safety specs, use tile nippers to shape round pieces and a tile cutter for any strips or straight lines. It is important to use frost resistant tiles or mosaic tesserae so that your pot will survive outdoors.

Pre-cut shapes for my daisy motif

Pieces of tile pre-cut to form the flower stem

You have to remember that the surface is curved. This means that any larger shapes have to be cut so that they can follow the curve. With my design, the petals were just about short enough to use whole. However I decide to divide my leaves into smaller pieces. This way, they fit around the pot following its contour and I’ve defined veins in the leaves at the same time.

Leaves

You can see from the photo that I mark the shape that I want to cut with red china marker onto the tile first. Then use the nippers to carefully cut it out.

Both flower stem and leaves follow the contour of the pot

Use a cementitious tile adhesive – I’ve used BAL Mosaic Fix for mine – to stick the pieces onto the pot. You can mix a small cupful for each small section that you work on.

Once you’ve glued down your first motif or section of pattern, clean off any excess adhesive from the surface of the mosaic pieces. If it gets left until tomorrow, it will be rock hard!

The first flower complete!

In part 2, I’ll show you how I completed and grouted my mosaic flower pot…………………..update: go to https://traceycartledge.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/daisy-daisy-make-me-a-flower-pot-do/

 

If you need supplies, you can find tile nippers, safety specs and china markers in the ‘accessories’ section of my main website: http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/products?tags=accessories

Karen can’t wait…….she’s so excited about the Mosaic Masterpieces Week-end!!


Working from the photos that she took on her recent visit to Norton Priory Museum & Gardens, Karen has made a start on this lovely mosaic.

 

 

Does it inspire you to come and try your own hand at mosaic? Karen and I are hosting a series of relaxing week-end mosaic courses at Norton Priory this summer. There are still places available for the first one this month (16th & 17th), so why not join us?

Some fabulous new materials will be available and you will make a large mosaic wall piece, suitable for outdoors. What’s more, the price also includes free admission to the museum, ancient priory and Georgian walled garden.

Click here for more: http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/workshops_and_events

Book online: http://www.traceycartledge.co.uk/products?tags=Week-end+Courses

 

Its in! New Mosaic Now Installed at Dearne Valley Park


Glorious sunshine, cool fresh breeze – we couldn’t have wished for more conducive weather as we set about installing the fabulous new mosaic at Dearne Valley Park on Monday.

The mosaic has been a massive achievement for the young people who put their time and effort into producing drawings and creating the panels prior to installation. A number of them came down to site on Monday afternoon to see their mosaic masterpiece in its permanent new position at a key entrance to the nature park.

 

 

The young people put together their drawings, depicting life at Dearne Valley Park and they were sent to me at the studio, together with dimensions and a basic idea of format for the overall design. From this, I created a bespoke community mosaic kit, together with the design and full scale templates.

I was invited to take part in a full day of workshops at the Ozone centre at Barnsley Football Ground where we had a very jolly and highly productive day making up the panels. See earlier post for details