Free mosaic resources and information. Workshops in Greece and Scotland.

Gaudi bird – how to make a 3d mosaic

Detail from Antoni Gaudi's Parc Guell, Barcelona, Spain.
Detail from Antoni Gaudi’s Parc Guell, Barcelona, Spain.

Making a 3d mosaic – how to start

I cant believe that I fell for it again. It happens every time. I should know by now, but somehow I never learn. I thought I could rattle something off. I’d seen plenty of photos of Antoni Gaudi’s Parc Guell in Barcelona and thought it was all so easy. Just a few broken pots gaily slapped on and that I could rustle up a 3d mosaic over a morning or two. Helen, learn your lesson: mosaics AREN’T like that. You don’t rattle or slap or rustle with mosaics. They absorb and consume you and they also take far, far longer than you think.

After finishing a large mosaic that had taken weeks to make, I felt I deserved a little light relief. A friend was interested in making an outdoor water feature – a mosaicked cement bowl with a solar powered fountain – which I thought was a splendid idea and happily took on the task of seeing where such bowls were to be found. In the cement bowl shop I also happened to spy a cement pigeon, and blithely thought I’d conjure up a Gaudi-esque 3d mosaic bird as a practice run.

Cement pigeon ready to be transformed.
Cement pigeon ready to be transformed.

I had plenty of bits and pieces lying around from broken plates and mugs, plus glass beads and some millifiore so I was all set.

Miscellanenous materials for the Gaudi bird
Miscellaneous materials for the Gaudi bird

3d mosaic – the process

So here’s how it went – if you need any more details about the prepping, grouting and finishing processes then please refer to my tutorials on Making a Mosaic Trivet, Parts 1-4.

3d mosaic – the finished bird.

And here, after all that, is my bird. Gaudi? Hmmm, not quite, but if at first you don’t succeed, try and try and try again….

Gaudi bird - 3d mosaic completed
Gaudi bird – 3d mosaic completed



  1. Hello Helen,
    I follow your posts with great interest and love your work. I love the way you distil the essence of the Greek and Roman style and ancient work, but make it your own with a modern twist.
    I was wondering if you do workshops in Greece? And if I could visit you there for a weeks intensive tutorial or as part of a structured course? I have experience with hammer and hardie and do some of my own Roman style pieces, though only directly at the moment.
    could you email me at the above address if you are able to progress this further?
    Many thanks, I look forward to hearing from you!

  2. Denni S. Miles

    Although I know that your “Gaudiesque” Bird project was done years ago, its still a great & effective outline for those new to mosaics.
    BTW: You did an excellent job creating an early, one-of-a-kind “Helen Miles Original”!

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