There are different types of methods you can use to lay your tesserae. My favorite, and probably the most common one, is the Direct Method. What this basically means is that you lay your "tess" directly onto your base after you have applied an adhesive either to the base or to the back of your tesserae. It is, in my opinion, the easiest way to learn mosaics as you can see your design taking shape right away.
The Direct Method works great for all types of situations: making a small decorative mosaic, mosaicing a 3-D surface, direct to a wall or floor, etc. This method is also great when you want to use a pattern underneath and work on top of it. In order to do this, you can use QuikStik mosaic mesh as your backer. (I recommend it because you don't have to use adhesive.) Mesh enables you to transport your work to a permanent location, you can cut it into shapes and sizes and is appropriate for indoor and outdoor use. Here's how it works with QuikStik mosaic mesh:
Step 1: print out your pattern to the full size you want it
Step 2: tape the pattern to a flat surface so it won't shift around on you - make sure your pattern is dark enough so you'll see it through the mesh
Step 3: lay your QuikStik mosaic mesh sticky side up over the pattern and if you can see your pattern well enough, tape it down – if you can't see your pattern well, lift the mesh and draw over your pattern lines with a dark magic marker, then re-tape your mesh over it
Step 4: press your tesserae – without glue or thinset – to your QuikStik mosaic meshAfter completely covering your mesh with your tesserae, you're ready to install this using the direct method to your substrate.
Step 5: peel the QuikStik mosaic mesh away from your pattern, trimming as necessary
Step 6: apply your adhesive to your substrate and lay or press your mosaic that is on the mesh directly onto it
You may need to use a Skeewpick to remove some extra adhesive as it comes up around your tiles through the mesh, so have these handy. If any tiles pop off, just gently press them back into their space. You can even rearrange your tesserae before all the adhesive is dry. When everything is dry, you grout as usual.
The Direct Method is very user-friendly and when you combine this with QuikStik Mosaic Mesh, it really is a fun way to create your mosaics.
this article is made possible by the support of skeew.biz - cool stuff for cool mosaics
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