Friday, April 21, 2023

Finish It Friday ~ Mosaic Shelf

It is very strange that I have never blogged about my obsession with Fiesta ware dishes before, although they have made some appearances in the blog (notably in these posts: Kitchen Refresh, Getting the Plastic Out, and La Cocina en mi Casa). In any case, suffice it to say I have a pretty big obsession with Fiesta and a pretty big collection thereof. And, since I live with a clumsy man and three kids, I also have a pretty big collection of broken dishes, every one of which I've saved over the last 20 years for "someday" making a mosaic.

So when my friend Barbara set up a mosaic-making workshop with an artist friend of hers, I got out all my sad, broken dishes, sorted them by color, and gave them a bath.

Then I turned to Kaffe Fasset's book Mosaics for inspiration. The book includes a wall shelf project, and I just happened to have this sweet little wall shelf that used to hang in the kids' room, where it used to hold the antique toys C inherited from his grandfather. It was long ago evicted from the room and had been languishing in the basement.

To prepare it for mosaic, I first vandalized it by scoring the surfaces I was going to stick the tesserae (that's the fancy word for little tiles for mosaic; another fancy phrase I learned is pique asiette, which means mosaics made from items like broken dishes) to and then I painted it a nice, bright tangerine color with several coats of chalk paint. Then the fun began.

At my friend's mosaic gathering, I stuck shards (most of which I'd previously broken up) into mortar on the back panel of the shelf, with a butter dish finial and teacup handles for hooks. This mortaring part is what had held me back from trying mosaic on my own all these years, but it turned out to be incredibly easy. A lesson there.

At home later that week, I mortared pieces onto the outside panels of the shelf and then, later, grouted it all and touched up and waxed the painted surfaces. 

And now I just need to figure out where to hang it up--and what to mosaic next!

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