• A Guide to Our American-Made Stained Glass

    A Guide to Our American-Made Stained Glass

    Our Stained Glass is proudly made in the U.S.A. by Youghiogheny Glass located in western Pennsylvania. In addition to making their own branded line of glass of different types, Youghiogheny Glass also manufacturers the Uroboros and Oceana brands, and they own the rights to other brands of glass that might be produced in the future.

    This article explains the different brands and types of stained glass made by Youghiogheny and how their part numbers have code letters for the different varieties.

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  • Increasing the Working Time of Mosaic Adhesives

    Increasing the Working Time of Mosaic Adhesives

    Although it is easier to create a mosaic using a temporary surface which allows you to make edits before gluing anything, many artists prefer to work directly on the backer and glue one tile at a time.

    The key for making the one-at-time (direct) method work is to increase the working time of the mosaic adhesive by slowing its drying time.

    The easiest way to do this is to keep a humidifier running next to your workstation, the closer the better.

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  • Local Kitty Defends Family from Deadly String Attack

    Local Kitty Defends Family from Deadly String Attack

    Most of my blog articles are about how to cut and mount mosaic tile and how to improve your mosaic artwork, but sometimes life events are so intense and dramatic that they intrude on all channels of information.

    The following story warrants coverage by every news outlet large and small:

    Recently local kitty Mr. Fauci bravely defended his family from a deadly string attack.

    Accounts vary, but all witnesses agree that Mr. Fauci struggled with the vicious string for over half an hour, grabbing one end in his teeth and heroically kicking the length of the string with his rear paws as they lay on the floor tangled in mortal combat.

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  • The Amazing Stylistic Range of Figurative Mosaic Art

    The Amazing Stylistic Range of Figurative Mosaic Art

    Artist Jennifer Kuhn has an impressive body of work that demonstrates the stylistic range of figurative mosaic artwork.

    Normally when I need to describe the range of styles of mosaic artwork, I emphasize how found objects can be used as improvised tiles and how that multiplies the number of styles of abstract art that are possible.

    Here I’m not talking about that. Here I’m talking solely about the rendering of figures with ordinary tesserae (tiles or pieces cut from tile or flat material).

    Jennifer’s work shows that mosaic is like painting or drawing in terms of the number of styles of rendering that are possible.

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  • Weldbond Mosaic Tile  Adhesive Outdoors?

    Weldbond Mosaic Tile Adhesive Outdoors?

    Weldbond is a PVA (poly vinyl acetate) adhesive that is the best all-around adhesive for dry indoor mosaic projects and craft projects. It is water based, nontoxic, fume free, archival, easy to clean up, and water resistant when fully cured.

    Note that Weldbond is water resistant and not waterproof. There is a significant amount of difference between being water resistant and being waterproof.

    That is why our online instructional pages and blog articles always restrict the use of Weldbond for dry indoor projects.

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  • The Importance of Context in Figurative Mosaic Art

    The Importance of Context in Figurative Mosaic Art

    Artist Lisa Sunshine emailed us asking about improving one of her recent mosaics, and Natalija and I both agreed that the problems Lisa perceived in her work largely disappeared when the mosaic was viewed at the appropriate distance.

    The situation reminded me of a line from the award-winning 1995 movie Clueless, which is the story of a spoiled Beverly Hills high-school girl AND a loose adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma:

    “She’s a full-on Monet…It’s like a painting, see. From far away it’s okay, but up close it’s a big ol’ mess.

    -Cher Horowitz, Clueless

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  • Floor Inset Mosaic Medallions

    Floor Inset Mosaic Medallions

    Artist Catherine Augustus recently installed some mosaic medallion insets in the floor of St Clare of Assisi Catholic Church on Daniel Island, South Carolina, and you might want to take a look.

    These mosaics were a volunteer project for the artist and her team of parishioners. They learned on the job and had to dance around some technical mistakes, but the results are great.

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  • Framing and Hanging Exterior Mosaic Plaques

    Framing and Hanging Exterior Mosaic Plaques

    Artist Brad Srebnik’s mosaic street number plaque is worth taking a look at for several reasons. It has a harmonious color scheme with good warm-cool contrast, it’s tightly executed, and the numerals have crisp outlines and subtle curves in a distinct font style.

    If you are thinking about a project with mosaic numerals or letters with any kind of calligraphy or distinctive font, this mosaic has a lot to show you.

    Brad also did a good job photographing the work in progress, including the method he used for mounting the hanging wire.

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  • Masterpiece Miniature Mosaic Series

    Masterpiece Miniature Mosaic Series

    In centuries past, crafts people worked in guilds, with a guild for each craft: shoemakers, gold smiths, etc. To join a guild, a person had to apprentice themselves to a member of the guild for years and work themselves up from repetitive physical work in the studio to more and more advanced tasks over time.

    Eventually the apprentice would be competent in all the skills and tasks required for practicing the craft. At that point, the apprentice would submit to the guild what was called a masterpiece, which was an ornate and difficult piece of work that demonstrated that the apprentice had mastered the craft.

    Well, if I were a master mosaicist instead of a jack of all trades, I would declare Lisa Sunshine‘s Alphabet Mosaic Miniatures series a masterpiece of glass mosaic merely in the execution.

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  • White Tile in Mosaic Artwork

    White Tile in Mosaic Artwork

    Artist Brad Srebnik‘s latest mosaic street number sign is a good example for a discussion about white tile in mosaic artwork.

    I also think the color scheme is excellent, and I wanted to say a few things about that.

    The green and blue and red are all intense but not bright. The color scheme is all “in the same key” (instead of being a mix of intensities) and so the mosaic looks more sophisticated.

    I think the accent of green was a critical addition. The choice of a dark marbled red instead of a bright primary red also goes a long way toward creating an antique look.

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  • Case Study: Non-Sanded Grout for Mosaics with Incidental Gap

    Case Study: Non-Sanded Grout for Mosaics with Incidental Gap

    For better glass mosaic images, tiny incidental gaps are the way to go. Just forget about grouting and fit the glass as tightly as possible.

    Or better yet, cut the pieces less precisely and use the slight errors in shapes to form an incidental grout gap.

    I highly recommend this latter mode of working because you focus on the visual and make better art instead of getting frustrated trying to cut precise shapes.

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  • Nonstandard Method for Removing Mortar in Gaps

    Nonstandard Method for Removing Mortar in Gaps

    Natalija reminded me that she used her cordless drill with a mesh disc to remove the hardened mortar, and that cordless rechargeable tools exist.

    Either we didn’t have cordless rechargeable tools on my home planet, or I was having a stress-induced boomer episode yesterday.

    One of those two things is true, maybe both.

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