Further Adventures in Concrete (and Mosaic)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I have been working (slowly) on a few crafty projects around the house and am starting to finish things. Hurray! This past week, my mosaic house numbers went up on the wall. I love these - they're bright and cheerful, with just the right amount of sparkle to tell passers by that this is our house. 

Our house that still needs a lot of paint and DIY!

I was very lucky to have my aunt visiting from South Africa: a very knowledgeable and multi-talented mosaic artist whom I roped into glass shopping with me, and then had to look on while I asked a thousand questions about getting things just right.

I designed the numbers in Photoshop and then sent the image off to be laser cut out of 3mm MDF by The Laserworks. Sarah, owner, designer and laser cutter extraordinaire, is just the loveliest lady, happy to accommodate all of my mad schemes and so helpful. The numbers were ready to pick up in a few days. They're quite large - about 30cm tall.

The glass is stained glass from Glass Studio Supplies, a glass studio in Wickford. It's meant for glass fusing but the colours and swirls are perfect for mosaic too. I bought "tops and tails" glass because you can pick and mix in their studio, but you can order online and they also have much larger sheets if you need a lot of one colour. Nip, nip, cut: thousand of tiny glass pieces were jigsawed together to create rainbow numbers, and then grouted in white. 

There's a lot of cleaning in mosaic. More than I remember. But it's worth it. After the third (or fourth?) time cleaning the grout off the top of each glass piece, it shone brilliantly and was ready to be screwed into the wall! I love that we can do permanent things like this - before, we had always rented and had to contend with landlords who didn't want anything on their walls. Definitely not permanently attached rainbow numbers.

And as for the title - Further Adventures in Concrete - it's from Peppa Pig. It is a book that Daddy Pig reads to his family one night at bed time to get them to go to sleep. It works after only one page. I think of that every time I see these numbers, remembering the experimental tile grout and trying to get the mix just right! 

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