A mosaic is a picture made from small pieces of glass, tiles or stones. Mosaics have been produced for thousands of years. Although originally used for simple illustrative purposes mosaics soon became used for much more decorative purposes.Mosaic Techniques
There are essentially three main techniques for creating mosaics.
- The Direct Method is mainly used for creating mosaics on uneven surfaces such as unlevelled ground and around curves. Using this method, individual tiles of the mosaic are directly applied to a surface. This method is good for using on small projects that aren't attached to a fixed surface. The advantage with this method is that you can adjust your mosaic as you are going along and make up for any irregularities. This method isn't suited for large mosaics as it is difficult to maintain even positioning of all the tiles over large areas.
- The Indirect Method for creating mosaics is more suited for larger works. Using this method tiles are stuck upside down onto adhesive paper. The lengths of paper can then be easily transferred onto walls and other large surfaces. Using this method it is easy to line up and place sections with recurring patterns or solid sections of colour. This method is good for covering surfaces such as tabletops as it gives a much more even finish than the direct method.
- The Double Indirect Method is useful for placing entire mosaics in one session. The whole mosaic is created ready to be placed facing upwards with an adhesive sheet stuck to the underside. A sheet or cover is put over the side to be displayed and the underside is peeled back allowing the mosaic to be attached to a wall or other surface. This method can also be done in sections allowing large pieces to be transported individually and then reassembled.
There are several mosaic associations based around the world. The joy of shards was originally known as the mosaic resource and is one of Britain's main authorities for mosaic related issues.
The Mosaic Association aims to inform people about mosaics and provide people with knowledge of new techniques and resources for improving their designs.
The mosaic association can be found online where links to other mosaic associations around the world can be viewed as well as links to individual artist's sites. The website also features themed galleries of artist's exhibits and practical guides for learning new techniques.