Lighthouse Mosaic By Natalija Moss

Making Pictures With Colored Mirror Tile

Natalija improvised this picture of a lighthouse using the Colored Mirror Tiles to show that they can be used to render an image. We added these tiles last year, but I haven’t had time to use them in anything.

In Praise of Colored Mirror Tiles

I can say that the Colored Mirror Tile ranks the highest of all our product lines in terms of being “pretty shiny things” in a rainbow of colors. (Sure the 24kt Gold Mosaic Glass is dazzling, but that is only one color, and things like beads and gemstones are more accents than they are materials for rendering.)

The colored mirror tile seems pretty durable in terms of the oxidation protection on the silver backing. There was some left-over bleach water at the warehouse, I dumped in some cut up Colored Mirror Tile, and the bleach water completely dried up without the tile oxidizing.

As an engineer that has experience in materials testing, I know that a more meaningful test would be to put them in straight bleach for a period of months, AND MULTIPLE SPECIMENS OF ALL COLORS would need to be tested, but I was still surprised that cut edges could be exposed to bleach water for days without any visible effect.

That sort of protection on the silver backing means that you can definitely use a white PVA adhesive like Weldbond without any worries about it compromising the the silver, which is something you can’t say about the cheap colored mirror stock that other suppliers cut up for tiles.

I wouldn’t use our Colored Mirror Tile in a chlorinated swimming pool just because I am an engineer and want anything I make to last as long as things made by the ancient Roman. But the manufacturer says that they are being used in swimming pools.

I did note that the manufacturer states that the Colored Mirror Tiles shouldn’t be exposed to sulfur. I guess that means as long as you do not practice alchemy on your mosaic coffee table, these should be good to go…

Suitable Mosaic Backers For Indoors

If you are going to use materials like colored glass tile, which take a lot of fossil fuel and minerals to make, then the environmental cost of these materials dictate that you use a durable backer for any mosaic you make with them.

Natalija made this mosaic on a whim, and she made it on a piece of pallet wood instead of a more suitable piece of plywood, which we have tons of in the studio. Pallets are made from the cheapest variety of wood, which is porous and brittle, and so this was not the best choice.

To compensate for using such a vulnerable backer, Natalija painted the sides of the backer with several coats of artists acrylic paint and sealed the bottom with Weldbond. That should lock out moisture and keep the wood from warping or splitting over time.

Note that you would want to paint or seal the sides of the sanded plywood Mosaic Backer Boards we sell, but you wouldn’t have to seal the bottoms, which come sealed in clear polyurethane.

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