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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Finally!

I have finished Step Two of getting the mosaic ready to go. Here are all the steps, if you're curious:

0. Get a picture, pick the colors you want in your tiles, figure out how many you'll need, blah blah blah.

1.Nip your tiles down from 3/4" to 3/8" size - the smaller size give you more detail (and you didn't have to pay extra for actual 3/8" tiles). This part can take amonth or so, because it's boring and your hand gets tired after a while, so you can't just do it all in a day.

2. Place the tiles on your temporary ground. This part took me, for this mosaic, close to a year. The red took the longest and ticked me off the most, but I've already explained why elsewhere.

3. Prep the tiles for casting. The technique I use guarantees a really smooth surface; to do it, I lay duct tape over the entire image, peel it off my ground (modeling clay), and then lay it face down in my mold.

4. Mix and pour the cement! Then you wait a couple days for it to dry and set, and that's it - finished stone.

Steps 3 and 4 together can take a couple hours, tops, not including the waiting part once you've poured the cement. Step Two is where the biggest, royalist pain in the tuckus shows up, but it's where all the gorgeousness and fun come from, too, so as long as the tiles are cooperating.

And I know you're looking for a picture, so here are the tiles on their temp ground, just waiting for me to attack them with duct tape.



This is the third in an intended series of twelve stepping stones, each with a medieval-ish motif. Once they're complete, they are meant to go around the outside of a campfire pit, to look cool and to help catch sparks. At the rate I'm going, they should all be complete by the time my daughter graduates.

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