My journey with mosaics began when some of my wedding china arrived to our apartment in Switzerland in pieces. Our wedding china, from a French company called Gien, has beautifully bright colours in a floral pattern. I thought it would be a shame to throw out the broken pieces of china, so I tucked it away with the intention of using it in some arts & crafts project.
Fast forward to about three months ago, and I finally said to myself that it was time I did something with this broken china. I saw this really awesome diy project on Pinterest of a mosaic serving tray. I thought this was the perfect way to upcycle my Gien china and still have it as something functional in my kitchen. But the only problem was that I knew nothing about how to create mosaics: I had no clue how to cut china or materials, how to grout mosaics, and I didn’t have some of the tools necessary for the project.
I did some research and found a woman living in the Dubai area who teaches mosaics in her home studio. She is a classically trained sculptor, and an all-around artist. I figured that if I was going to do a mosaic project with my wedding china, I better do it with the guidance of a proper artist.
So about two months ago I took my first class with her. I looked through her books for inspiration, and drooled over the hundreds of jars in her studio containing the most beautiful tiles and mixed mosaic media. But before I could jump into gluing tiles and china onto my tray, I had to create a design.
The process of creating my design took a long time. It started with some rough sketches and ideas. I didn’t want something too plain, and I wanted to make sure that my design meant something to me. I chose the image of a lotus flower, which symbolizes purity, enlightenment, and new beginnings, as the basis of my design. From there, I played around with the way in which the lotus flower was depicted in my design. I eventually came up with a final design that was complex, intricate, and visually interesting.
The next step was to figure out what colors I wanted to use in my design. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the colors of my wedding china, but I didn’t want to be limited to just that color scheme. I colored in several drafts, and I even employed the help of my husband, a friend, and my mosaic teacher’s daughters to help me see my design in different colors. I settled with a final color scheme, knowing that my final mosaic piece would probably look different than what I had put on paper.
After I finalized my color scheme, I had to carefully trace my design onto my tray. What seemed like a really easy task ended up taking me a total of 4 hours to complete. I needed to make sure that all of my lines were perfectly matched up with my tray. After the lines were traced in pencil, I used a marker to finalize the design on the tray. Next, I used a box cutter to score the surface of my tray. This will ensure that my mosaic tiles and materials stick to the smooth surface of the tray.
At last, it was time to choose the materials and tiles that I will be using for my mosaic tray. In addition to my beautiful Gien Bagatelle china, I will be using some incredible glass tiles, stones, and other visually interesting materials to complete my mosaic design.
I can’t wait to see what my final project will look like, but I am hoping that I can get it finished before baby comes in July! In order to do that, I will have to be very focused during my weekly 2-hour class.
Check back for more updates on my mosaic project!
Have you ever done a mosaic project? Are you interesting in learning about mosaics? Share your stories below!
Life is short, share in the adventure!