Mosaic workshop

On Sunday September 24, Barbara taught the second workshop for making mosaic stepping stones. Below, you can see what we set out to make.

Stepping stone from the first workshop.

The colorful tiles on this stepping stone are shards from flawed ceramic plates and bowls that Barbara and other potters from our garden had discarded. After Barbara moved her studio, we got several buckets full of these rejects, which are nevertheless very beautiful.

The first step to make a mosaic stepping stone is to break the ceramics up into smaller pieces.

Tanking a hammer to the ceramics. This is weirdly satisfying.

Next comes the assembly of the mosaic. As molds, we used plastic containers that fruit and salads are being sold in. The colorful tiles go on the bottom of the mold, which is then filled with fine cement. Of course, the pattern has to be upside down, which is difficult to do without perfect memory. Therefore, we first assembled the mosaic on a piece of paper cut to the shape of the mold and used school glue to stick a second sheet of paper on top of the tiles. Once the glue had hardened, we could turn the mosaic over and place it upside down into the mold.

Making the mosaic.

After we had assembled 12 mosaics, it was time to mix the cement and scoop it into the molds.

Adding the cement. The backs of the mosaic tiles are visible in the plastic molds.

The cement had to be tamped down carefully to fill all spaces between the tiles. Then it was time to wait and let the cement set.

I got curious and un-molded some of our new stepping stones the next day. Below is how they looked after I had peeled off the paper that was glued onto the surface of the tiles. Pretty neat, right?

The finished product. The right stone features shards of Barbara’s signature two-layered ceramics inspired by stained-glass windows.