When looking at a mosaic, you are amazed at the sheer artistry and complexity. Mosaics are beautiful composites of “brokenness” as they say, which is why many have found mosaic arts very romantic. Fun Trivia: The earliest known examples of mosaics were found in Mesopotamia, which dated back to 1500 BC.
Though mosaics may look complicated and tedious to make, they are actually quite easy to put together. You can make mosaics from leftover bottles, odd stones or broken ceramic plates around your home. But aside from the odd bits and ends, another vital component of a mosaic is the grout. Grout is the construction material used to embed the pieces in the artwork. Grout, which is very much like mortar, is not only responsible for holding the whole artwork together but it also adds texture and an added personality to the piece.
You can easily mix your own grout for your homemade mosaic projects. Here’s how.
You will need. For your safety: prepare a pair of gloves, goggles, cloth and a shirt with long sleeves. You will also need a small spade for mixing and a container bucket for the mixture. To make the grout mixture, you will need water and a bag of dry grout powder, which can be purchased at the hardware store.
- In a bucket of water, slowly add some dry grout powder.
- Carefully stir the mixture with your spade. Smoothen out any lumps until you have achieved the consistency of cement. Mix by folding over the grout, like mixing cooking batter. Tip. Do not make the mixture too watery or too stiff as this will not work effectively. If the mixture is too watery, add more dry grout powder. On the other hand, if it is too stiff, just add water.
- Leave the mixture to harden a bit for 10 minutes maximum, and then stir again. It is now ready for use. Tip. During this time you can add a dye to color the grout.
- Before layering on your grout, prepare your mosaic art by gluing the pieces onto a base with tile adhesive. Enjoy yourself and let loose your creative vibes to piece together your masterpiece.
- Once the pieces are set, lay a thick layer of grout onto the surface of your artwork. It should only be as thick as the pieces on your artwork. Make sure that you fill in the gaps between each piece.
- Take the cloth and wipe off the excess mixture which covers the mosaic pieces.
- With your spade, smoothen the grout and let it dry overnight. Tip. If grout covers a piece in the mosaic, you can just chip it off gently with a chisel.
Safety Note. Like working with concrete, contact with grout will burn the skin, so protect yourself with gloves, a long sleeved shirt and other protective garments.
Creating a mosaic is a delightful way to decorate a drab corner in the house. But if you would like to do this project with your kids, please observe utmost safety.