• Sports Logo Mosaic

    Mosaic Minnesota Vikings Logo by artist Curt Gassmann

    A stylized logo or pattern is different from a picture of an object. In a picture, the goal is to create a sense of verisimilitude (likeness) by including small details and visual complexity. In a logo, there is an opposite emphasis. To create a logo, images are “posterized” and every element is reduced to monochromatic […]

  • Curves Not Lines for Better Mosaics

    New Orleans Mosaic Table Top by Marianne LiMandri view 2

    Artist Marianne Limandri’s mosaics are good examples of how to create more interesting designs by thinking in terms of curves instead of straight lines. Straight line segments (or their imperfect representations) occur all the time in nature, from cactus needles all the way up to the endless horizon on the open sea, but they are […]

  • Mosaics in a Painterly Style

    Fishing Hat mosaic by Yolanda Bergman

    Paints can be blended to any shade or hue, but the mosaic medium requires that an artist render an image in a limited set of fixed colors. The color palettes of molded glass tile product lines are limited to 40 to 60-ish colors, and this limitation seems to encourage novice artists to work in a […]

  • Video of Mosaic Rose Design Process


    Natalija has filmed a video of her laying out a rose mosaic inset for her new home, and it’s a good demonstration of cutting and fitting tile and other basic techniques. More importantly, it shows the process of design evolution by trial and error, something that is lacking in most craft videos. Marking and Cutting […]

  • Large Mixed-Media Mosaic Mural

    Tuolumne County School Mosaic Mural collage with detail and artist Dianne Stearns

    Artist Dianne Stearns and her students have created an impressive mixed-media mosaic mural on the exterior of their school in Tuolumne County, California. Too Much Inspiration The mural is a “regional icons landscape collage,” and so naturally it shows local landmarks and regional archetypes, but when you have El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and […]

  • Wood Frames For Mosaics

    Composite of mosaics in frames by Tanya Boyd

    Artist Tanya Boyd emailed me some photos of her mosaics, and all of them were in wooden frames of different types. It reminded me that I am overdue to write up the ways of sourcing wooden frames for mosaics: used frames from paintings or mirrors frames made using molding and a miter saw frames made […]

  • Secret to an Exceptional First Mosaic

    I’ve already written about Brad Srebnik’s first mosaic and how impressive it is. It’s also amazing how well Brad documented the process as he was learning it. Brad emailed me a summary of his methods and the lessons he learn from the project. He has some good photos of some important steps, including making a […]

  • Cutting Glass Mosaic Tile: A Practical Guide

    Mosaic Design Aids with keystone-cut arch

    Designs are said to be elegant when they “don’t try to push things uphill” but instead go with the natural flow of materials and forces. Consider the Roman arch versus a rectangular doorway with a flat lintel on the top. The flat lintel could be constructed from a superior material than that used in the […]

  • Mosaic Flower Pot Planters

    Mosaic Flower Pot in California courtyard.

    Artist Morgan Halford‘s mosaic flower pot planters are colorful geometric abstracts executed with a spooky level of precision. I like that they are exceptions to my general recommendation to work in a looser fashion in the uniformity of the sizing, shaping, and orienting of tiles. TIP: Most people find that they can render images more […]

  • Inspiration Versus Reproduction

    Mosaic Subway Sign Brad Srebnik with original NYC inspiration

    I once had an employee-artist who became angry with me for encouraging people who didn’t think they could draw to trace artwork or photos to make patterns. I explained that we wanted to reach all skill levels and that included some people who would be attempting mosaic or even art for the first time. I […]