Now place your mesh over your layout and trace the image onto your mesh. I like to use a regular black permanent marker. I save my layouts, you never know when you can use it again!
Here is a close up of the mesh. I purchase mine at a local upholstery fabric store, but you might be able to find it where you are for less $ somewhere else. Just make sure it is strong enough. If you can tear it.....don't use it. Make your sections no larger than 3ft. x 3ft. if possible. You will have to lift the sections later and they can get heavy.
Place wax or parchment paper under your mesh. This is to prevent your mesh from sticking to your work table. Now start adhering your mosaic to the mesh. At this time I would like to discuss your adhesive. Remember, the adhesive that we will be using at this point is only to adhere the mosaic to the mesh. The mosaic as a whole will later be adhered with thinset and grout. I LOVE to use a hot glue gun. Many mosaic artists are surprised at this, but I swear by it for this method. It is fast, clean and leaves a nice small bead that allows alot of thinset to seep through the mesh. I have used hot glue for this method for over 10 years with no problem. (Note: we will be switching to another project for the following sequence of this tutorial)
When you are finished mounting your mosaic, trim away any excess mesh. Trim as close to the tile as possible, even trying to "under cut" the mesh. You will be tempted to dissect your project now, but wait until the next step. (Note: we have switched over to another project, you are not going crazy!)
Now that you have finished mounting your mosaic on the mesh, it is time to turn it over to remove the wax/parchment paper. If it is a large project you will need help. You might have the urge to cut any large project into sections now, don't. It is much easier after you have turned it over, removed the wax/parchment paper, and then use a box cutter to cut through the mesh.
It is very important to remove ALL of the wax/parchment paper. Note the little beads that are left behind when I use the glue gun. This allows maximum seepage of the thinset through the mesh.
Now we are mounting the actual mosaic. Use a float to "slap" it good.......don't worry it likes it! Do not be surprised when some pieces fall off. About 10% of the pieces will, that is normal. I just go behind my helpers and put a little thin set on the piece and stick it back in place.
I am a proffessional mosaic artist and live in a one room palapa on the beach in a small town near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico called Bucerias. I have renovated a residential plaza that was located around the corner into an art center with 4 galleries, mosaic school, painting and cooking schools also. I founded a local art walk for all the galleries in town and now it just sounds like I am bragging! The summer of 2009 is going to be all about experimenting for me. First this blog, then I took some kite surfing lessons and next painting lessons!