joe's painting studio

Artist Joe Moorman

Artist Joe Moorman owns Mosaic Art Supply and writes the How To Mosaic blog.  He displays his art online at Riverson Fine Art. His mission is to promote contemporary mosaic as a fine art and encourage ordinary people to make original mosaic art in their own style.

Mosaic Art Supply’s selection of glass mosaic tile, mosaic art gallery and how-to-mosaic pages represent the most authoritative and complete mosaic supply site on the Internet. Founded in 2002, Mosaic Art Supply offers free project advice, low prices, quick shipping and an ever expanding selection of mosaic tile and supplies. 

To email Joe, fill out the form below.

 

15 thoughts on “Artist Joe Moorman

  1. lynne

    Firstly, congratulations on creating such a detailed and informative site. i thank you for sharing your knowledge so freely and for free!!
    It has given me the kick up the arse l needed to get started, well begin to set up my space anyway!!!!
    l am 53 and have been gathering materials for donkey’s years. ‘Unused junk’ waiting for me to find the courage to create something wonderful….and by golly reading your stuff has done just that!! so cheers and ta very muchly. big hugs.
    Lynne from England. x

    Reply
  2. Robert

    Joe,
    First off, I wanted to say that I really like your blog. You have posted some of the most helpful information that I have found anywhere.
    I had a question about how to attach hardiboard to outdoor cinder block. I am going to make a street number placard for the side of my home and was wondering what my options are for attaching it. It will be approx 12″X24″ and I am planning on using 1/4″ hardieboard and 1″ glass tiles. I know one way would be to drill though the cement board and the cinder blocks and use a couple of tapcon cement screws. Is there any good way to attach to the cement board that I could just screw in a couple of screws into the cinder block and then hang it over the screws? Also, what about the edges of the hardiboard, do i need to worry about sealing the edge? I have not found a good forum to pose these questions so I was hoping that you could help me out. Thanks, I love you blog.
    Robert

    Reply
    1. Joe Moorman

      Robert,
      My apologies for the late reply. We have been moving to a new warehouse.

      I would use pure concrete backer board. I would avoid Hardieboard because I think it contains wood fibers.

      There is no good quick solution involving concrete backer board for this application. All are crumbly at the edges and would require some sort of frame such as one made from 3/4″ angle iron. However, a local welder could fabricate what you need and weld washers to it as mounting points for fasteners.

      I hope this helps some!

      Reply
  3. Kathleen DeNault

    Amazing information on your blog. I am looking for some advice from an experienced mosaic artist. I am doing a “mosaic” floor. Using 3/8 inch jade flat cut pebbles (various sizes…some large) interspersed with 3/8 inch stainless steel pebbles (stainless formed and wrapped over a ceramic substrate) and glass gems. I have been dry setting this “mosaic” on the floor to get the right balance of color. Now I need to lift the pieces already in place so I can put down the thinset adhesive underneath. So I need a face mounting material that is strong enough for the tile but yet can be removed after the thinset has setup. The size of this floor is 240sq ft. I have looked at the clear “tile tape” product designed for mosaic applications, however: for the amount I would need (and then discard after use), the cost of the multiple rolls of tile tape for this project would be a bit steep. Are there any other lower cost alternatives for mounting products? I’ve though about Contact paper or packing tape but I’m afraid they won’t release. I thought about that temporary clear plastic film used to cover carpets but afraid it won’t be strong enough to hold the tiles in place due to the weight of the tile. I also thought about using the old fashioned brown craft paper but I don’t like the idea of having to apply glue, then use water to release (vey messy and the addition of water may not be great on fresh thinset). Do you have any recommendations?
    Thanks,
    Kathleen

    Reply
    1. Joe Moorman

      Kathleen,

      You have pretty much covered the options: the clear mosaic mounting tape or the brown mounting paper are the only thing available for picking up a loose mosaic design by the face. We don’t have the best price on the tape, so you could shop around for a better deal on that, and you could get the version that is 12″ wide. I will make a prediction for you: If you do attempt this work with an improvised solution to save money, you will in all probability end up buying one of these products and be glad you did. 240 square feet may be large as far as buying materials, but it is also large as far as the labor and frustration of trying to make some ad hoc solution work. At least if you are like most people.

      All that being said, I love to come up with improvised materials and methods to save money and labor. The “secret” to making something like that work is to test it on scrap material somewhere else instead of on the project itself. On tip I can give is that not all brown kraft paper is the same. In fact, there is a range of thicknesses and moisture resistance levels. The mosaic mounting paper has coarse fibers and was designed not to turn into mush when wet. A lot of brown kraft paper will turn into mush and create a lot of clean up work before you can grout.

      I hope this helps some.

      Reply
      1. Kathleen DeNault-Ridge

        Joe,
        Yes…super helpful. And you are right about improvised solutions…it may seem like a good idea until you get too far into it to turn back! Then you just have to slog through it…no fun! Been there, done that! I guess my next concern is to find a material (either the clear tape or the brown kraft paper, or maybe contact paper… I even thought about packing tape), that would be strong enough to handle the weight of these tiles. The mosaic is mostly 3/8th thick jade flat cut pebbles. Even one 12×12 sheet of pebbles is pretty weighty. Would the clear tape be stronger than the kraft paper?
        Thanks again for your expertise!
        Kathleen

        Reply
        1. Joe Moorman

          Kathleen,
          The weight of the stones could be an issue with the mounting tape, especially if the surfaces are rounded. However, I think it would work well enough provided the handling is minimal. I once had a similar situation and ordered 12″x12″ cardboard squares from Uline as temporary supports for each sheet until I slid them off into the mounting mortar. In fact, I’m fairly sure something like that might be necessary if the stones are large and heavy because neither the tape nor paper are rigid and can fold up and sag in annoying ways. Whether you use mounting tape or mounting paper, you will need to test your method before applying it to the actual project. The test can be as simple as applying one sheet and seeing if the stones hold well enough for the sheet to be moved around.
          I hope this helps!

          Reply
  4. Maureen Olsen

    I hope you can help me. Last summer, I bought an oversized, oval, outdoor glass mosaic table (base is set in concrete and weighing 500 pounds) from a very high end store. The glass tiles are set with a dark brown grout. I used the table once before the Fall set in and used a table cloth so I never had to wipe it down. We had a mild but very wet winter season. I have now gone out to wipe it to get set for this summer. As I wiped (with plain water), the rag was coated in brown and once dried, there is a brown haze all over the glass tiles. I have wiped it several times and the same thing happens each time. Could it be that the manufacturer never sealed the grout in this table top before shipping to me? How can I get rid of this brown haze (there are hundreds of these small glass tiles set in the brown grout on the table top)? And, should I seal this table top myself? Help – it was a very spendy investment!!!

    Reply
    1. Joe Moorman Post author

      I would hose the table off well so that it isn’t shedding color and then seal the table with a tile and grout sealer from a building material store. If all the grout is crumbling away, you can scrape it out with a Grout Removal Tool and then re-grout it.

      Reply
  5. Brenda Ingram

    Hi Joe! I’m stumped about choosing a background color for the mosaic family tree I’m making for my dad. My maiden name is Sparrow so I chose birds as family members with blue and purple birds for females and red and brown for males. I’m using dark brown for the branch colors.

    I’ve decided not to include leaves and extra branches because there are already enough colors!

    I never thought about the background when I started this. Lesson #1, I guess. lol. I know your email address is listed somewhere on your site so I will email the picture separately.

    Thanks!
    Brenda

    Reply
    1. Joe Moorman Post author

      Hi Brenda,

      Color choices in artwork are like an evolving puzzle: the colors you already have on the board constrain what else you can add. Looking at what you have so far, specifically the birds and branches being rendered in deep intense colors:
      Sparrow Family Tree Mosaic (in progress)
      it is fairly obvious that the background will need to be a light color(s). I think a warm cream not too different from the temporary backer you used for the photo would be best. You can order samples from our website to see what looks best in person.

      I hope this helps!

      Reply
  6. CJ

    Hello Joe,
    Thanks for all the great information.
    However I am still confused on something so I do have a question for you.
    I have a little wood garden bridge I would like to mosaic the walking area.
    If I use piece of concrete backer board, over a piece of fir wood board, ( the wood the bridge is made of), then mosaic that backer board…will it be safe outdoors??

    Reply
    1. Joe Moorman Post author

      Yes, you could do that. The problem is that concrete backer board has crumbly edges, and so you need to do something to cover the edges. You can plaster them with the same thinset mortar that you use to attach the tile, or you can put a wooden border around the edges.
      I hope this helps,

      Reply

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