Cleaved-Glass-Tile Mosaic Coasters

Mosaic Door Progress

This is an update on my Mosaic Door project built from a “series of smalls“, which is the most effective way to improve artistic confidence and ability.

A “series of smalls” is more than a simplistic example of practice makes perfect. You can practice by painting works of all sizes and painting many different types of composition. But in that case, each piece has it’s own unique learning curve.

Keeping the size of the pieces in a series all the same size removes that extra layer of difficulty. Many “series of smalls” are often the same or similar compositions, which also maximizes learning.

Mosaic Door in Progress 11-10-2022
Mosaic Door in Progress 11-10-2022. Four early mosaics have already been replaced. More will follow.

Artistic Progress

Many painting instructors recommend doing a series of smalls for these reasons:

You get “another bite at the apple” with each piece, and you get to take advantage or everything you learned on the previous piece. You can also compare results as you go.

I’m not doing the same or similar compositions for the series of smalls I am making for the Mosaic Door project, but I am using a uniform size. Making one after another has really honed my ability to work with that particular small size.

I note that my later mosaics in this series have better shading and contrast of values than the earlier ones.

The reason is simple: I am better at working in this tiny size, which was completely new to me when I started, and so now I have more mental bandwidth left to concentrate on the images being rendered.

At the beginning, I was struggling with the small size and foolish decisions like trying to reuse the same piece of contact paper.

I note with chagrin that some of the earlier compositions are a lot less detailed than they would have been had I not been struggling with tile not sticking to worn-out contact paper.

Mosaic Door Oak Construction
Mosaic Door Oak Construction. Bungee cords are used to hold the pieces of the sides in place while the Weldbond dries. Afterwards, wood screws were added. These sides form a recessed area for the mosaic insets almost 3/4-inch deep.

Mosaic Door

I built the door from 1-inch thick oak that I salvaged from the pews of an old Baptist church blown down by a tornado. I planed the wood by hand.

Before mounting the mosaic insets, I will fume the wood with ammonia to darken and age it in appearance.

The dimensions of the door are 38.5 inches x 22 inches.

The frame and surrounding wall section for the door will be made from many different wooden bedposts that I have been collecting for years.

The studio shot below shows the value of nesting tables in a small studio used for many different manufacturing processes.

Here I am stripping some old paint off the door bolt housing, which should have been done before I installed it:

Mosaic Studio Nested Tables
Mosaic Studio Nested Tables

Materials and Methods

These mosaics are made from 8mm and 12mm Recycled Glass Mosaic Tile, which has been mounted with the cut face showing.

They are made on the 4-inch Bamboo Mosaic Coaster Bases:

Cleaved-Glass-Tile Mosaic Coasters
Cleaved-Glass-Tile Mosaic Coasters







5 responses to “Mosaic Door Progress”

  1. SkiddleDeDe Avatar

    I enjoyed & learned from this article. I am new to mosaic & am focusing on glass on glass. I’ve kept windows we replaced on our house as my base. This summer I jumped in to mosaic experiments with tiles on purchased 12 x 12 stepping stones. You’ve given me a new way to think about biting off smaller pieces until I am more experienced & confident. Thank you!

  2. Kathy Avatar

    Looking forward to seeing your progress on this. It looks great so far!

  3. Sally Clontz Avatar
    Sally Clontz

    I love this! Very inspirational to me as I have been in an artistic slump all year and I’m always happy to find motivation. Thank you for posting this! I do have a question… do you plan to mount the coasters to the door?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Since the mosaic is indoors, I can use wood and Weldbond adhesive for everything. I am going to glue the coasters in place with Weldbond and then grout it, probably with black grout. The individual mosaics will have been already grouted with a medium to dark gray.

      1. Sally L Clontz Avatar
        Sally L Clontz

        Thank you for your reply! I look forward to seeing the door when completed.

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