The Power Of Black in Mosaic Design

I have written many times about black grout and why I recommend it for making tile colors look more intense, but I don’t think I have ever taken the time to talk about using black tile for the same reason.

Artist Carol Jasin recently emailed me some photos of her work, and she makes great use of black tile to make a her mosaics look more colorful and more substantial.

Tiled Chest-of-Drawers
Mosaic Apothecary Chest by Carol Jasin.

A Comparison

Compare Carol’s Mosaic Apothecary Chest to pique assiette furniture covered in patterned porcelain dinnerware. The pique assiette furniture is bright and white because the dinnerware is mostly white in spite of its patterning.  The pique assiette furniture is beautiful, and its aesthetic is fantastic (Marie Antoinette does folk art), but sometimes you need a less ornate or less bright piece to work with the look and feel of an interior.

By using darker colors (including black) with intense colors, you can have designs that are more subdued and more easily integrated into a room’s color scheme than the same design made with white tile.

Mosaic Yin Yang Koi by Carol Jasin
Mosaic Yin Yang Koi by Carol Jasin

Always Black?

Definitely not. Sometimes black can stick out as badly as white. An umber or dark brown or darkest gray is often preferable to straight black.

About the Artist

Carol Jasin is a stylist who owns a salon. She started making mosaics about six months ago (and is making good use of all the previous time she spent thinking about design and art).






6 responses to “The Power Of Black in Mosaic Design”

  1. Karen farrelly Avatar
    Karen farrelly

    I would really like to start making mosaics but I just don’t know where to start I wondered wether you could give me some tips if you possilely could as I am eager to make a start but I just don’t know where or how to make that start making mosaics seems to be my calling as that’s all I think about I look forward to hearing from you thank you karen

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Here’s how you find and make patterns for mosaic artwork:

      Here’s our starter kit:

      Here’s our information for getting started:

      Our instructions for using thinset for outdoor/pool/floor/wet mosaics is at

      Our Mosaic Frequently-Asked-Question Page is at

      Our recommended mosaic books are at:
      Most of these books have detailed instructions with lots of illustrations.

      You can also learn by looking at examples at our gallery and other online

    2. Deb Avatar

      If you are on Facebook join Mosaic Mentoring

    3. Eleanor Cerny Avatar

      I can remember feeling that way also. It is a great feeling. What I did at first (and this is true) I bought some glass and a cutter and “hid” under an antique piano while I practiced cutting glass. As soon as possible I took a class and got the equipment I needed. I created 6 panels that are hanging up in my house. The big surprise is the enthusiastic support I got from my family. This site also will be a great source of not only instruction notes, but ideas and encouragement to do whatever you can dream of.

  2. Tanya Grimes Avatar
    Tanya Grimes

    I’m doing a sugar skull?! Trying really, really hard to put as much color in as possible but white is needed, correct? What would your advice be? I read all your tips & advice and would really appreciate your in this situation. Thank you very much.

    Tanya Grimes

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Tanya,
      I think a sugar skull should have white in it.

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