Direct Vs. Indirect: 3 Questions to Help to Decide How to Apply Your Mosaic

We all know that when it comes to creating mosaics, options are virtually limitless with  tesserae, surface, adhesive, design  and even the method you use to apply your mosaic; direct or indirect.

Using the direct method of mosaics, you place your tesserae directly on the surface you are covering. Each piece is applied one by one right side up to the surface.

Using the indirect method of mosaics, you apply your tesserae face down to contact paper and then apply the entire pattern to the surface you are working with.

How do you choose which method best?

Are you working with stepping stone or coaster molds?

  • Either method is great for molds – when you create a stepping stone or a coaster with the indirect method, the cement will fill the space in between the glass – leaving a smooth surface, if you choose to mosaic with a mold using the direct method, you will have to grout your mosaic to fill in the space.

Are you working with an intricate pattern or working freehand?

  •  If you are working with an intricate pattern, you may find it easier to apply your mosaic to contact paper placed directly over your pattern. If you are working with a surface that you can transfer your pattern to or  working  freehand then you can mosaic with the direct or indirect method.

What mediums are you working with?

  • Sometimes it is much easier to use the indirect method when you are using small tiles or when you are using tesserae that is nipped to specific shapes. It also may depend on the glue you use – it is easier to use the direct method when you are working with less viscous glue.

The most important thing to remember when you are creating your mosaic is to use the method that you are most comfortable with, try them both and see what you like! To find some fun and inspiring mosaic projects, head on over to our Creative Corner and to find fabulous mosaic products near you, check out the store locator.


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