Grouting the Mosaic

Originally posted November 1, 2012

mosaic before grouting


I generally re- use old water jugs as much as possible. They make ideal tools for messy grout work in small batches like this. I cut the top off to use as a scoop or spatula, while using the base for mixing the grout, or containing plain water which I use for cleaning tools, wiping grout off the tessarae, or thinning grout.

mosaic grouting


Because this is such a highly textured mosaic, the grout needs to be very runny. For some pieces, it can be as thick as peanut butter. In this case, it’s more like honey in consistancy.   It runs into the cracks and does a good job of filling in gaps.

grout on mosaic sculpture


The grout has been wiped down with a damp sponge, which pushes the grout into cracks, smooths its surface, and reveals the surface of the tessarae. That’s the fancy name for the little pieces of rock or tile or glass in the mosaic.  Because this is so deeply textured and uneven on the surface, I have to be very careful with the sponge in order to avoid knocking pieces off.

mosaic sculpture


Just a little more wiping to get the grout off the surface of the limestone, and the grouting is done on this piece.

tree and mosaic sculpture


The finished Broom Rack, by moonlight and car light.  I’ll wipe the surface of the mosaic again tomorrow, to get the grout haze off.  Because this will be used inside, the final step will be to add some felt to the bottom. Then, I’ll take it to the store to display the brooms!

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