Recycling continues to be a buzzword in the news. Mankind is finally waking up to the idea that we not only need to protect our planet, but we also need to clean up the damage already done, if not for ourselves, at least for the sake of our children and all the generations to come.
Broken pieces of tile are often the building blocks of mosaic masterpieces. What a great way to recycle something that would normally be considered trash! Mosaic art is similar to Impressionism, which uses little dots of paint instead of tile to create a unified scene when viewed from a distance. Everyday items, such as furniture, jewelry, and backsplashes come alive with the beauty of mosaic tile.
Grout & mortar choices may recede into the background or become a defining part of the mosaic design. In the photo above, notice how the abstract pattern of the broken ceramic pieces is dominated by the grout instead of the tile. The colors and smooth, irregular shapes contrast with the rough gray background.
Glass tile is a very popular choice for kitchen backsplashes and bathroom accent walls. Here is one extremely important installation tip for glass tile installation: Ensure the mortar is white. DO NOT use the standard gray because it will change the color of the glass. Keep in mind the grout color may also affect the color of the glass; therefore you might want to make a sample board first, before committing to the final selection.
With this glass tile, the basket weave pattern provides instant texture with minimal effort. The blue grout perfectly coordinates with the tile, making it barely noticeable.
Our ancestors had to position one piece of tile at a time. Today, modern technology has simplified the mosaic tiling process by producing sheets of tile, eliminating the need to place individual pieces, and ensuring the finished product is evenly spaced and level.
The subtle shading and vibrant colors of this cardinal looks more like a watercolor painting than a mosaic tile mural. The grout has been tinted gold to reflect the light and add an extra lavish element to this outstanding artwork.
On old maps, unexplored regions typically included a warning, which read: “Beyond here there be dragons!” Poised in mid-dive, I suppose this mosaic dragon is nothing to fear. It must have taken the artist a very long time to complete this large-scale project.
The soft colors and delicate details create a soothing, peaceful atmosphere in this aquatic garden.
Decorative figurines, such as these frogs, are perfect for showcasing the artist’s playful use of color, and the textured surface begs to be touched.
Impressive geometric patterns, similar to those found in kaleidoscopes and mandalas, are beautifully expressed with mosaic tile.
This animal menagerie has been created using an interesting technique. The mosaics have been individually adhered to a stucco wall, and the space in between, which would normally be filled with grout, has been left open. The three dimensional result is quite beautiful, and the placement of the animals conveys a sense of motion and activity.
Many ancient cultures created vast mosaic murals to not only decorate but to teach their people historical and mythological lessons.
Worldwide religions have also made use of mosaics, especially those with metallic finishes, to illuminate interiors with an otherworldly glow, and to depict important concepts and teachings.
As human beings developed their skills throughout history, fine arts paintings, murals and mosaics replaced cave paintings and drawings for recording their observations of the natural world.
Weather can be very hard on exterior mosaic installations, which require periodic maintenance to maintain its beauty and integrity. Grout and mortar can crack, loosening stones and/or tile, which is not only unattractive but can also become a tripping hazard.
Swimming pools often incorporate mosaic tile coping along the waterline, which can also extend across the entire bottom of the pool in fascinating colors and patterns.
Home accessories, such as picture frames, mirrors, and lamps, present many opportunities for mosaic artwork. Lit from behind, these glass mosaic lanterns brighten rooms and moods with the flick of a switch.
This Volkswagen is interesting and attractive, but not very practical. Every time you hit a bump or pothole, more tiles are lost. Of course if you ever get lost, there will be a trail of “bread crumbs” to find your way back home. (lol)
Countertops with thickset mortar beds can accommodate large smooth river rocks and require thicker grout lines. Use a leveling tool as you go to ensure the finished counter will be level.
As in all art forms, there’s always room for whimsy, and an occasional wish or two. If you have been wishing for a beautiful and unique piece of art, give mosaic art a try. Please click here to read an earlier post on the mosaic tiling process.
Looking for a challenge? If you’ve been saving chipped or broken glass, dishes, ceramic tiles, or pebbles, then you already have the raw materials for your next mosaic project. In fact, you might need to break them into smaller pieces, which is a great way to work out the stresses of the day. Fit the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. It all starts with that first piece of tile. What will you create?