Crazy Mosaic

Oldies, but goldies, there is a saying. The same can be said about the techniques of making mosaic.

There are three well-known basic methods of doing mosaics:

  • The Direct Method
  • The Indirect Method
  • The Double Indirect Method.

The basic idea is to fix small pieces together in order to create a design.

When we speak about the techniques, there are numerous ways of arranging the mosaic pieces (tesserae).

Opus‘, the Latin word for ‘work‘ is used to nominate the ways to cut and place tesserae.

According to this categorization, the mosaic pieces could be placed as a grid (Opus Regulatum), in more lines that follow the edge of a shape (Opus Vermiculatum), or they have irregular shapes (Opus Palladianum).

This last mentioned technique is also known as ‘crazy paving’ and it is used most frequently in gardens, for paving paths or sidewalks.

Making mosaic using this technique could be very effective.

I will show you how to do it.

As always, you must have all the materials ready and the tools working properly before starting:

  • Tile cutting machine
  • Pliers
  • Tiles
  • Adhesive
  • Grout
  • Float
  • Gloves

Using this technique, you need your project design just for guiding you, when you place the mosaic pieces.

On your mosaic platform, draw the basic design.

With the tile cutting machine, cut the tiles as lines from 2cm breadth.

Take the pliers and brake randomly the tiles lines in geometrical shapes (triangles, squares). Go on like this with all your tiles.

Take one piece at a time (any shape) and glue it, but carefully not overcome beyond the lines.

Let’s say you have a butterfly design in the middle of your mosaic project. Take colored tesserae and randomly fill the pattern. Go on like this, using different colored tiles for the rest of your work.

Put the same amount of adhesive on each piece and push hard towards the surface while fixing them.

Let the adhesive dry at least 24h before grouting it. When you are sure no piece is moving, start grouting. With a float or with gloved hands, spread the grout all over your mosaic, starting from the centre of it towards the borders.

If you want to make it more expressive, you can use different kinds of colored grout. It will give depth to the whole mosaic work.

You can use graduate colors, from light shades in the middle, to the dark shades at the edges.

Every time you grout a color, let it dry and then clean it with a wet sponge and with a dry cloth. Go on like this with every grout line: grout, let it dry and clean it.

Crazy, isn’t it?

With every new mosaic project you will learn something new, but also you will learn from your previous mistake.

Evaluate every mosaic project, in order to make the next one better.

Different techniques will match different projects, so keep an open mind when it comes to materials and the way of cutting them.

You will find a method that give you the opportunity to innovate and to explore. Because this is all about, reinterpretations of old ideas in your own personal way.