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Sunday 28 September 2014

A step-by-step guide to making an exterior mosaic.

Here is a step by step guide to making one of the Crossley Park mosaics, commemorating the First World War.

This is the painting I based my mosaic design on.

1. I used cement board for all the mosaics, as it is completely weather proof, and drew the design onto it with a soft lead pencil, making sure I had the board the right way round. 

2. I took each of the designs from pictures local school children had painted of their feelings and impressions of the First World War, which they had been learning about in school.  I had all the paintings up on my computer so I could keep to them as closely as possible, while putting my own stamp on them too. 

3.  Choosing the right colour of the frost-resistant porcelain tile I used for all the mosaics, was a very important part of the process.  Luckily, I had a wide selection of colours to choose from.

4.  So, the snipping and the sticking started. The poppies seemed a good place to start.  I looked at images of poppies on the computer, to get the shape and size of the petals just right. Although it made filling in the green background of the grass more difficult after, I wanted to space the poppies  out as in the painting.

5. The grass came next. I used two different shades of green to bring texture and relief to the grass around the poppies, cutting the tiles to achieve this undulating effect.

6.  The cross in the middle of the mosaic was central to the message of this piece, so I kept it very simple, using as much tile as I could, so that it would stand out.

7. The person by the cross had to be simply made too - a sort of everyman or everywoman figure, mourning the terrible loss in the First World War.

8.  In contrast, behind, I made the sunset vibrant, with a lovely curving movement to it. I saw it as signifying hope.

9.  Finally I made the zesty yellow sky, uplifting the whole mosaic - using different shades of yellow to bring variety and texture.

10.  With the snipping and sticking finished,  I grouted the mosaic with a waterproof beige grout to bring out the colours, cleaned and sealed it, and here is the finished article!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my step by step guide to making a mosaic, and that you enjoy seeing all the mosaics in Crossley Park, Ripley, Derbyshire.

Here are all nine mosaics together!

Do take a look at my website for the full range of my original mosaic art - www.justmosaics.co.uk

Many thanks,
Felicity x