Glass Beads for Mosaic Art

Glass Beads for Mosaic Art

We now sell glass beads for use in mosaic artwork. We have several types including murano, lampwork, millefiori, etc., but for practical purposes, glass bead are best divided into two groups: those small enough to be glued next to glass mosaic tile without sticking out too far, and those so large that they are best used by pressing into a bed of thinset mortar. In either method, glass beads are a great way to give a mosaic texture and dimension and an eclectic look and feel.

Small Beads For Gluing On Surfaces

Small Glass Beads
Some of our Glass Bead Assortments are beads small enough to be glued beside thin mosaic tile and not stick out too far. The assortments are made from beads in the same color family as shown.

Larger Lampwork Beads For Pressing Into Mortar

Lampwork Glass Beads
We also sell assortments of larger Lampwork Glass Beads. These are best used in stepping stone molds or pressing into thinset mortar.

Stepping Stone Molds are used to make mosaic stepping stones by pressing tile, stone, glass gems and other durable objects into wet concrete. Our large lampwork glass beads are perfect for decorative art were pieces are pressed into mortar or concrete. As always, you have to be careful with stepping stones and make sure you don’t create a slip hazard or position glass pieces in such a way that they can get broken off and leave sharp edges exposed.

Ideas For Using Glass Beads

It’s easy to come up with ideas for how to use glass beads in found-object mosaics: just combine them with other items made from glass, porcelain, stone, thicker seashells, and other durable materials. But beads can also be used in figurative mosaic images. Consider the following:

Mosaic tile can be arranged in curved rows to suggest motion, such as when tiles in the background are laid out in concentric rows around the figures in the foreground. The mosaic bird image in our logo is an example of how this works:

Mosaic Art Supply Logo
The bird in the Mosaic Art Supply logo uses background tiles arranged in concentric rows to suggest motion.

Rows of glass beads could be alternated with rows of flat glass mosaic tile to increase the contrast and make each row stand out more and heighten the effect of the concentric rows, especially if the rows of glass beads were placed more randomly and intermittently instead of every other row.

Similarly, you could use single-file lines of beads to outline figures, render letters and numbers, or draw smaller figures.

Millefiori and Murano Glass Beads

Murano Millefiori Glass Beads
We have Glass Bead Assortments of various types of murano, millefiori, and lampwork.

Most of our more elaborate varieties of glass beads are larger than what could be easily glued on a flat surface next to glass tile –but not all of them! The millefiori glass beads are the exception. They are relatively thin and could be used to suggest smaller flowers in a mosaic bouquet.

4 responses to “Glass Beads for Mosaic Art”

  1. I was wondering what adhesive is used for beads on top of glass. I have heard E- 6000 and also Mac glue or silicone. Do you have a preference or have you ever tried it on glass? Thank you so much !!
    Kathy Rickermann

    • Hi Kathy,

      For most glass-backed projects involving stained glass, people use silicone because the Weldbond adhesive takes forever to dry when sandwiched between pieces of glass that are larger than a small glass tile. For a glass bead, you could use the Weldbond we sell if the project is dry and indoors.

    • Metal isn’t a recommended backer for mosaic. There are jeweler’s glues I suppose. Cyanoacrylates (super glues) are not archival. Weldbond on a wooden or stone backer would be best.

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