How to make a direct method mosaic on mesh, Part I
Truth be told, I am going through a bit of a mesh phase. I cant seem to get enough of it. Making a mesh on mesh is just so darn simple, convenient, versatile and all-round handy. The finished work is easily lifted from its base, doesn’t weigh much and is a total synch to transport. The ‘unswept floor’ mosaic I am working on above is just the latest in a string of mesh mosaics I have made in my new found enthusiasm for the method.
Here’s one that’s finished. See what I mean about it’s light weight, ready-to-go-ness?
One of the things I like about making a mosaic on mesh, is that they can be whatever shape you like. What more could you possibly want? Nothing. Good, we’re agreed, so let’s get to work.
First, you will need some supplies:
- Your design. Make sure it is clearly outlined with a black marker pen so that it is easy to see through the layers once the cling film and mesh are laid on top.
- A backing board
- Cling film
- Mesh. All mosaic suppliers will keep it in stock. I use the Mosaic Workshop but I have actually found some perfectly good mesh in a builder’s yard here in Athens, so I don’t think you need to get particularly fussy about it being mosaic mesh as opposed to any other kind
- Glue – I use a brand which I buy in Greece called Atlacoll 37 which is for ceramic tiles. The Mosaic Workshop in London sells Titebond II Premium Wood Glue for the same purpose.
- A Stanley knife
Making a mosaic on mesh- the method:
1. Put your design on the backing board and tape it down at the corners.
2. Put a layer of cling film over the design so that the mesh doesn’t end up getting glued onto the paper. Tape the cling film down too.
3. Put the mesh on top, securing it firmly at the edges.
4. Lay your tesserae in the normal manner. For more details on laying a direct method mosaic go to my post: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/making-mosaics-2/how-to-make-mosaics/making-a-mosaic-trivet/
TOP TIP: Take care to apply only enough glue needed to fix the individual tesserae to the mesh – not so much that it squishes around the sides. You want to make sure that the gaps between the tesserae are clear for the grout to fill.
5. Wait until the glue is fully dry and then cut around the mosaic with your Stanley knife, so it can be lifted off the base:
6. Turn the mosaic over and peel off the cling film:
7. Grout the mosaic in the usual way. (See my post on grouting: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/making-mosaics-2/grouting-mosaics/ ). Leave it to dry and, voila, there you have a light weight, ‘cut out’ mosaic that you can fix onto any clean, dry, flat surface.
A word of warning
I experimented with pre-grouting mosaics on mesh after reading Elaine Goodwin’s book Classic Mosaic in which she has a wonderful photograph of a court yard space with mosaicked birds on the wall hovering over an actual (mosaicked) bird table. It seemed like a good idea to grout in advance because you avoid all the mess and bother of grouting on site especially if you making small mosaics. There is a serious drawback though: pre-grouted mosaics are very fragile. I don’t recommend choosing a shape/design with fiddly bits or thin projections. I made a bird aka Goodwin and the tail cracked after grouting. A spot of super glue will set it to rights but I will avoid pre-grouting in future.
Furthermore, you can only use the pre-grouted technique on small mosaics like the bee above. The mosaic below is 32cm x 23cm and will need to be grouted after it’s been applied on site to a wall with tile adhesive.
For Making Mosaics on Mesh, Part II: Larger mosaics on mesh, follow this link: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/mosaic-tutorials/larger-mosaics-on-mesh/
For further mosaic tutorials, go to my series on Making a Mosaic Trivet.
Can I use mesh if tesserae is different sizes 4 mm or 6mm? Can you explain how I can adjust size and level of final mosaic if different sizes?
Hi there – first of all please accept my apologies for my late reply. I was on a rather extended holiday without a laptop! You can only use tesserae of different sizes on mesh if you dont want the finished work to be flat. There isn’t a way that I know of to build them up and make them all an equal height if you are using mesh. I hope that helps. Many thanks, Helen
Woonderful information. Thank you for taking the time to teach us!!!
You’re very welcome Dee! 🙂
Can you PVA method of sticking tile to the mesh if you are making an exterior mosaic? Is it okay to use the PVA with exterior tile adhesive?
Interesting question. The glue I use explicitly says on the can that it’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use and for sticking all manner of materials including stone so I suspect it’s not simple PVA. I can’t see any reason why it would be incompatible with exterior tile adhesive but I have only used the mesh method for mosaics which are either indoor mosaics or ones which have a sheltered position outdoors. I wouldn’t put them on a north facing wall which is going to be battered by sea storms every day! Please let me know what you think/decide. Thanks, Helen.
Hi I am grappling with the same thing, I want make quite a large outdoor ground mosaic, and have been advised outdoor pva is ok with mesh as long as you apply it sparingly so that grout can get between the tiles. You can definitely do this. Nevertheless there are different schools of thought on how water, and frost resistant this might be
Yes, that’s right about not applying too much PVA. When it is being installed the mosaic will be set into a bed of tile adhesive and will be grouted after that so the PVA is not the key ingredient when it comes to ensuring that the mosaic is fully embedded and will be resistant to water, frost etc.
The pva is good for indoor or out it is the grout that makes the difference , I don’t dilute mine. But I usecexterion grout
I wondered if you could give me some advice, I wanted to make some small mosaic dragonflies to go on our garden fence, but don’t know what backing board to use, it’s often wet outside and our gate expands and contracts a lot. Any suggestions?
Hi Fiona, I would suggest using hardibacker which is a kind of compressed concrete which comes in sheets or Wediboard if you can be sure that it’s properly sealed. Definitely not wood, though, and not directly onto the fence. All the best with your project, Helen.
This is the best tutorial on mosaic on mesh Ive ever seen. Ive wanted to do this for a long time. Thank so much!
Thank you so much Joanne! It’s lovely to get some feedback from the tutorials. 🙂
I want to know more about this just lv it being able to make small piece s then build a large mosaic I am a beginner
I love your tutorial but this may seem like a crazy question but I will ask anyway. If you are gluing the tile to the mesh over the saran wrap, how are you able to peel away the saran wrap? In my mind the glue would get on the saran wrap and not peel. What am I missing please?
Not a crazy question at all and I can see why you are puzzled but don’t worry the cling film/saran wrap always comes away effortlessly. I have done it countless times and never had a problem with it sticking. I guess it’s because it’s a plastic slimey surface and the glue doesn’t adhere to it. If you are worried I would do a tiny sample with your glue just to double check. All the best, Helen.
Thank you for the easy instructions! I started my project using the mesh, plastic and a colored picture of the religious icon. Its size
is 23 (W) X 33 (H) inches. I will install the mosaic in my mom’s tomb. Can you please give me an advice on how to divide the artwork into at least 2 pieces and was thinking of putting it in a box or suitcase when I fly back home. I am avoiding the cost of cargo freight. I am from San Diego and the mosaic will be installed in Manila, Philippines. Should I divide the mosaic before I finish or after all the tesserae are in place? Much Thanks!
Hi Carmen! Thanks for your questions which are really good ones. First of all, it’s best to divide the mosaic after you finish if at all possible so that the flow of the andamento is consistent throughout the mosaic. For the break/s, try and choose a line which fits with your design. So, for example, if your design is of fish swimming, then it makes sense to break the mosaic under the fish’s belly rather than through it! Since your design is of an icon, you would probaby want to break the mosaic under the head following the neck line perhaps? What I do is choose the break line/s before I start work and draw them onto the design and then lay the tesserae very slightly further apart along that line so a) I dont forget where the break is going to be and b) I am completely sure that the mosaic will be easy to cut. I will send you some photographs to your email address and also amend this blog post in due course so illustrate the point. All the best with your work, Helen.
Hi again Carmen! I just wanted to let you know that I was inspired by your enquiry to write another blog post about making larger mosaics on mesh: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/mosaic-tutorials/larger-mosaics-on-mesh/. I hope you find it useful. How are you getting on with the one for your mother’s tomb?
Wonderful tutorial, thank you, Helen. I’ve been wanting to make irregular shaped pieces for a while now, and you’ve shown me how to do it. Much appreciated!
That’s great Rebecca! I would love to see the results if you want to share them?!
I have purchased adhesive mesh. If I am making a mirror, do I adhere it to the frame with glue and then grout it? Or would you recommend I just apply the tiles directly to the mirror frame? I am guessing the benefit of using mesh is to be able to attach to walls? Are there any other benefits or suggestions for using mesh?
Hello Arlene, In answer to your question, no, there are no advantages to using mesh in your case and you should apply the tiles directly to the frame. The advantages of using mesh is that it allows you to make a mosaic for a wall or floor or other awkward surface at your work table and then easily transport it and install it in situ. For small surfaces which are already suitable for applying mosaic like a wooden frame, then you dont need to use it. I hope that helps. All the best, Helen.
Are you living in Athens? My family is from Mytilini…no wonder you love the Byzantium themes! I appreciate your tutorial as well and will gather my supplies so I can try this.
Thank you for the very educational lesson!
Hi Rebecca! Yes, I am in Athens but will be moving back to Edinburgh next month (while still having long periods in Greece). Where are you? I would love to see the results once you have finished the mosaic. Helen.
Great tutorial. I have done a bit of direct mosiacing outisde onto stone and an old tree stump
.What is a suitable surface to do cut out shapes to go outside? Is it Water resistant MDF. I am thinking of doing fish, animals and flower shapes etc. Thought wood would swell.
Also what glue woud you use for exterior.
Keep up the great tutorials
Hi Karen – sorry for the late reply – my computer was in the repair shop. I wouldn’t use MDF for outdoor use unless it’s in a very sheltered place and you don’t live somewhere which gets very wet/damp/humid. I would imagine that your best bet is to use mesh and then apply the mosaic directly onto whichever permanent outdoor surface you have chosen using an exterior grade water proof tile adhesive. The other great option is to use Wediboard – you should be able to order it from a mosaic supplier pretty easily. It’s perfect for outdoor use and of course has the advantage of being transportable if you wanted to move your mosaic to a different spot. As for the glue, I use one I can buy here in Greece called Atlacoll No. 37 which is very strong and suitable for binding all sorts of materials so I would just go along to your local hard ware shop and ask for an exterior glue suitable for ceramic or whatever material you use. I hope that helps. All the best, Helen.
I am a watercolour artist, of long standing, 74 years old now.
I have recently found a Victorian table plinth, and it is my intention to try my hand at making a mosaic table top 26″ x 24″so that I can breath a whole new life into the thing and use it as a plant stand.
I have researched the net and come to the conclusion that your very generous instruction is miles ahead of anything that I have found, and therefore I will follow your advise, diligently!d
Hello Anthony – that sounds like a worth while project. Good luck with it and I would love to see photos of the finished result if you have the time. Meanwhile, I looked up your work which is absolutely stunning. All the best, Helen.
I’m wanting to give a make-over to 3×1 metre high plastic pots in the garden of a hospital – they look incredibly depressing as the pants get no attention and so die. I will be unable to move them so using the mesh method sounds a good idea – I’m thinking of separate mosaics of child-like flowers on stalks in bright colours arranged around base might cheer the pots up. Question: The pots have a slight curve, presumably grouting before mounting can only work successfully if I make the petals small enough not to be affected by the curve of the pot, and the same goes for any band I put around the rim of the pot.
(Idea is for patients to help make the mosaic if I can get the method right.)
Hi Cathy. Yes, I think the mesh method would work well but I would definitely not recommend grouting before mounting. It would be incredibly fiddly and could spoil all your lovely work. Is there any reason why you dont want to grout after mounting? You could make large, simple designs with the patients and then cut them into pieces, mount and grout. Bingo! It would look great but I’ve never used plastic as a base and so I would do some research on the right adhesive to use for that surface. Hope that helps, Helen.
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Hi Helen, Thank you for your wonderfully detailed tutorials and information. Your work is beautiful and inspiring.
So much so that I am neck deep in my first mosaic – yay! I have been doing my best to follow your instructions and (I think) things are going pretty well. I am making a mosaic insert to go on our new bathroom floor and the tilers keep asking me the same question: they are worried the PVA craft glue (Elmers) I’m using to glue the tessarae to the mesh will prevent the thin set from gripping the tiles and that despite grouting, they expect the tiles will eventually come away. I try to use the glue sparingly but now they’ve got me worried. Have you ever had tiles come away post installation because the PVA glue prevented them sticking properly?
Appreciate your thoughts,
Hi Caele, Thanks so much for your comment and very useful question. Yes, it’s important to make sure that the PVA glue doesn’t squidge out between the tesserae so it needs to be used sparingly otherwise you will essentially get a mat of glue behind the mosaic which will indeed stop the thin set from gripping the tiles.I have never had the problem of the tiles coming away post installation a) because I’m careful about not using too much glue, b) because the thin set provides a second layer of grip and c) because the grouting at the end provides further reinforcement. Good luck with the project and I’d love to see photos!
Hi, this tutorial is great thank you 🙂 you’ve inspired me to create something for our new bathroom floor and I particularly like the kind of stone you have used, can you tell me what it is (I’m a total novice). I love that it looks like natural stone, not the shiny cheap mosaic tiles available in the art shops round here (UK). Any extra tips for a wet room floor would be great Many thanks
Hi. Unfortunately (for you) the stone I use is imported from Greece and cant be obtained in the UK although there are alternative marble suppliers such as Mosaic Workshop. Depending of the type of stone you use, it can be quite porous so you have to be careful which type you use so I would recommend ceramic for a floor (which also has the advantage that it is non slip and has high impact strength – in other words is good for being walked on). Winckelmans are the best and you can buy them from all the mosaic supply companies such as Mosaic Trader: https://www.mosaictraderuk.co.uk/winckelmans-unglazed-porcelain/winckelmans-20mm-heritage-french-unglazed-porcelain.html. Hope that helps! Helen
I have been on several workshops and am class myself as a beginner. I am in the process of kitting out a brick shed which my husband finished last July, unfortunately before he had a heart attack.
He does modeling and I am very interested in mosaic and pottery.
When I have organized my work space I intend using your mesh method to cover the wall with mosaics.
At the moment my husband doesn’t want mosaics in his modeling area, which is fine.
It was in Anya’s workshops I became hooked after the first one. I am really really very excited and can’t wait to start my mosaics.
Thanks to your brilliant tutorial I am looking forward to trying this method on my project too.
For me it is the doing that I enjoy most .
Thanks for the inspiration
Thanks so much for this. It’s lovely to hear that my tutorial has inspired you. Please send photos of your completed work and then I could have a little gallery of mosaics made as a result of the blog post! 🙂
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Hi, great job
What kind of addisive did you use during and after?
Hi Thomas – I use Titebond which I buy from Mosaic Workshop in London: https://www.mosaicworkshop.com/shop/titebond-2-237ml.html to apply the tesserae to the mesh. When the work is complete I use tile adhesive to apply the mosaic to the wall – the type of adhesive you use will vary according to the country you live in but you want a good quality adhesive either available as a powder which you mix with water or a pre-prepared paste. If the work is for outdoors you will need to make sure that it is suitable for outdoor conditions. The mosaic is then grouted with ordinary tile grout – again make sure it’s a good quality one which is suitable for the conditions in which the mosaic is installed.
Would you recommend a DIY mosaic kit to get started? I found this one and would love to know if it’s worth the investment: https://www.mozaico.com/products/mosaic-kit
Hi Rachel! I havent actually used one myself and dont have any personal experience of them but I believe that they are a really good way to get started as all the materials and instructions are there in one kit and you can get a real feel for the process and whether you enjoy it without committing yourself to a course or buying all the kit. I hope it goes well, Helen
I am wanting to mosaic my house number. All the wooden mdf ones (to stick the tiles on) I can find are for free standing numbers so the curves are flat at the bottom. In this case I was wondering about using mesh, but am unclear about how it would be installed on the wall. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi Leigh, the mesh method is perfect for the kind of project you are planning. Here is an earlier blog post about installing mosaics on mesh: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/mosaic-tutorials/installing-a-mosaic/. If you need any more information please dont hesitate to get in touch, Helen.
Thanks for your tips Helen. I am in the process of doing some blue wrens on mesh to put onto a bird feeder and I was wondering how I was going to get it from the board onto the feeder. Your tips were very helpful. I’ll be looking out for further help from you.
Hi Robyn. Your project sounds very interesting. What is the bird feeder made of? If it is wood, make sure you prime it and score it first. If it is metal, you will have to use a different sort of adhesive and its best to go and ask at your local hard ware store. For the process of transferring it from the board to the feeder please read this post about installing mosaics on mesh: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/mosaic-tutorials/installing-a-mosaic/. I hope that helps and dont hesitate to get in touch if you have any other questions. Helen.
Hi Helen. I am trying to inlay a different colored mosaic 1″ x 1″ tile into a already made ‘ready to install’ 12″ x 12″ mosaic tile & mesh, to create a couple of letters (initials). The design is pretty straightforward but I need a little advise on how to remove the field color mosaic tile from the mesh without disturbing the others nor ruining the mesh as i will be inserting the colored mosaic tile in its place. All the tiles are porcelain 1″ x 1″ by the same manufacturer. Hope you can help!
Hi Carmen. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but this sounds pretty difficult. Depending on the manufacturer of the tiles you have bought, those pre-prepared tiles on mesh are often very securely glued as they are not intended to come off. The only thing you can do is to try and prise each one off individually perhaps with pliers or with a dentist’s tool to get under the tiles. Good luck with it!
Helen – I’ve long thought about trying the mesh method but want to know if there is any way to make it work using tesserae that are not flat and smooth such as smalti and stone in an ungrouted mosaic. Although pressed into thinset, wouldn’t some mesh show through in this case? Thanks. – Phil
Good question, Phil. As it happens, I have never used mesh in this way but I’m sure it would work. Rachel Sager of the Ruins Project has recently called for contributions to her installation asking people to use this approach, so it’s clearly an established method. I don’t think that the mesh showing through would be a problem unless you are planning to place the tesserae far apart. Scroll to the bottom of this post by Rachel and you will see how she approaches it: https://www.rachelsagermosaics.com/2018/07/how-to-contribute-art-to-the-ruins-project-without-actually-being-there/. I hope this helps. Helen.
I did a glass mosaic on my bathroom wall.
When I was leaving the grout, 3 pieces glass falled . How can I fix this now?
Glue it? Or make all over again the procedure?
Thanks for your help
Ooops – I don’t know how I managed not to see your question, Evelyn. I am sure you have sorted the problem out by now but for the record I would carefully remove the grout from around the pieces which have fallen off, wait for the mosaic to dry and then re-glue the three pieces directly onto the wall. Once they are dry, I would then regrout just those pieces. Good luck with your project and sorry for my late reply. Helen
Heya Helen! I highly appreciates your creativity.
Keep sharing with us.
Thanks for commenting, Adam! Much appreciated from my side too. 🙂
If this was already answered, I apologize. How do you attach it to a wall? Do you glue a hanger to the back?
Beautiful pieces. Thanks for the tutorial.
No problem at all, Susan. Here is a blog post about installation: https://helenmilesmosaics.org/mosaic-tutorials/installing-a-mosaic/. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. Helen.
Your mosaics are beautiful and your tutorials very useful, thank you very much! i
Now I am in Portugal and I have the mesh and colla flexivel. the glue is for tiles (I used it to glue special hearh resistant tiles on the wall behind the woodburner). But can I use it on mesh? It looks grey (powder) , like cement, and it becomes hard like cement.
otherwise, what can I buy (in Portugal) to glue mosaic on mesh (for outside)? Would woodglue do?
All the best, Anna
Hi Anna. Thanks for your enquiry. I haven’t come across Colla Flexivel but it sounds great. I prefer to use a flexible glue rather than a cement like paste but it depends where the mosaic will go and how big it is. If you need to cut the mosaic into sections in order to install it or you are installing it on a curved surface then obviously a cement like substance wouldn’t work. I dont have access to my favourite Greek glue now that I am living in the UK, so I use a wood glue recommended by the Mosaic Workshop so I am sure yours would be fine. Perhaps double check the small print on the bottle to make sure it is suitable for outdoors. Hope that helps, Helen.
This tutorial is fantastic!! Thank you 🙂
I’m an absolute newbie to mosaic and I’m having trouble figuring out what tile I need to use. I want to make a floor mosaic similar to an old storefront. Like this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/105130972538286755/
The tiles I’m thinking of buying are these ones:
Would love love your opinion on whether those would have a similar look. Thank you so much!!
Hi Lucy, Thanks for your query. That sounds like an exciting project and I hope it goes well. Unfortunately I don’t recommend the mesh method for floors. You need to use the paper-backed reverse method which I haven’t got around to making a tutorial about but perhaps you will find it if you do a Google search. Also, what books, if any, do you have? Again, you might be able to find an explanation in a how-to mosaic book.
The tiles you suggest are very thick and will be hard to cut so much so that it might put you off making mosaics which is the last thing I want! I recommend Winckelmans unglazed ceramic tiles which are frost proof, slip proof etc: https://mosaicworkshop.com/shop/unglazed-20-x-20mm.html and can be cut with ordinary tile nippers.
I hope this helps, Helen.
Hi Helen, I just came across your website and thought I would try and reach out. I am a new-be at mosaics, but have not found any answers on this: would it be better to cut the concrete backer board into the shape of the sun before gluing the glass pieces into place and what would you recommend for the sides and outline of the backer board sun? This would be for hanging on a outside wall of a house in the Utah climate.
Thank You, Kim
Hi Kim. Thanks for your enquiry. Yes, you should definitely cut the board first before laying the tiles. As for protecting the edges, you need to mix up some thin set using the same colour as the grout colour of your piece and smear it along the edges just with your finger. Make sure that it is outdoor grade thinset. You can do this after the work is completed and grouted. I hope this helps! Helen
Hi Helen, Thank you for your great tutorial and your dedication to answering all of these questions. We are installing a large mosaic on a bathroom wall. We want the gradient effect, and we are short on time. I found a pre-made mosaic tile online that has all the colors we would like. Each sheet is a little over a foot square and the individual tiles on the mosaic are 3/4″ squares. My thought is to purchase enough sheets to get the coverage I need, then pop out lighter colors from some replace them with darker from others and vicea versa until I have the affect I want. I have a couple of questions. Should I expect to be able to peel each tile off of the mesh backing, or will I need to cut them? If I only cut out and remove light tiles from one sheet, and replace them with dark tiles that have been cut out of another, what is the best way to get them to all be part of one sheet again? I was thinking about laying a sheet of contact paper on the top side of the tiles to adhere them altogether. Anther thought after reading your tutorial is without removing the old mesh from the tiles, lay them on top of another sheet of mesh – so they tiles would have 2 layers of mesh behind them. Do you think one of these methods will work? I don’t really want to have to remove the backing from each tile and then reset each one. Do you have any other ideas?
I’m sorry that my reply is late but thank you for your interesting question. Yes, you will be able to individually peel the tiles off the mesh backing. I wouldn’t lay an extra sheet of mesh behind the tiles because the more layers you have the less surface area of the tile is left to adhere to the tile adhesive when you put them in place. I would use brown Kraft paper and water soluble glue to do this. Unfortunately I havent made a post about the indirect paper method but basically you make the glue as in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMNQ-FSgYMM. You will then have to cut a few little squares of paper (slighty larger than the tiles themselves) cover each with a thin layer of the glue and put the tile front side down onto the paper square. Then put a dab of glue onto the back of each tile and stick into the gaps created by the missing pieces hopefully sticking to the mesh which will still be there. You will then end up with a sheet of tiles with lots of little bits of brown paper on the front. When the time comes to put the mesh sheets onto the wall, you just apply them as normal and then dampen the paper and it will easily peel away. I hope that helps. Helen
Hello Helen, what a wonderfully useful website. I have had these mosaics made and will have them installed indoor. I find that the glue at the back of the mosaic became one layer and there are no gaps, which will make it impossible for the quartz stones to adhere to the cement (in fact only the glue mesh will glue to the cement). Is this going to work? Thank you for your help ( I can send a photo).
Hello Jolanda. Thank you for your enquiry. I am afraid that this doesn’t sound as if it is going to work. It is very important when making mosaics on mesh to make sure that the glue ONLY goes on the back of the tesserae and not on the gaps between the pieces so that the cement adhesive can get between the pieces and hold them in place. I am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Hi Helen. Thank you for your lovely website.
My children and I got carried about and forgot to put down the cling film. I now have a mosaic design (made lovingly by my children with too much pva) glued solidly to the paper backing.
Do you have any rescue ideas? Or is this a lost cause?
Oh dear! Actually, if you used too much PVA then it really wouldnt have worked the way it is meant to anyway because it is important to leave the spaces between the tesserae free so that the tile adhesive can squish up between the pieces from below and therefore hold them in place. However, you could approach it in a different way. I would try and peel as much paper off as possible and then treat the mosaic as a solid piece, as if it was fixed to wood or wediboard. So assuming it’s not enormous and that the tesserae are suitable for outdoors, I would fix it to the wall with tile adhesive, wait for it to dry and then grout from above. Does that make sense? I do hope you can rescue it.
Thank you so much Helen.
I think it is rescuable given what you have said, I was worried the tile adhesive was required, but it is pretty solid as it is so I think it will work.
Thank you again for your reply, much appreciated.
I would like to know if it’s possible to make à mosaic in halv relief.(Hope it’s like ths we call it!
To be sure that you understand me I mean a mosaic pattern that is not flat and can possibly be glued in places to a support.
Best regards, Jacqueline
Yes, it is possible. However, if you are interested in creating a mosaic that is not flat then I would recommend using the tile adhesive method which is set out here: https://helenmilesmosaics.org/mosaic-projects/how-to-make-a-mosaic/.
Hello Helen, I am a keen mosaicist and thrilled to have found your tutorials. One question please. What is thin set? Is this also called tile adhesive or is it an alternative to pva and exactly what is it used for? I live in the UK and can’t find anything called thin set so not sure what to buy. So far I have only made mosaics directly onto wood but want to start making garden pieces using your wonderful mesh tutorial. Thank you so much.
Yes, thin set and tile adhesive are the same thing Denise. It is awfully confusing! Do make sure that you buy outer door grade tile adhesive of course. Meanwhile, here is a YouTube video about tile adhesive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQX-jgauWC8. Hope that helps!