Mosaics in Sculpture Park

Back in January we made a donation of mosaic tiles to Tyler Tate, a Boy Scout from Troop 1 in Roseville, CA. Tyler is working towards his Eagle Scout rank and last fall he decided to embark on a major a great community project with Roseville Arts to revitalize Sculpture Park.


From 1993 to 2003 the city sponsored a contest for local children to create designs for bronze plaques to be placed on stanchions in Sculpture Park but in the summer of 2010 vandals stole and damaged nearly a third of the original 96 bronze plaques so city officials decided to relocate the plaques to prevent any further vandalization. In the spirit of the original contest, Tyler arranged a contest for fifth graders in the city to create mosaic designs to fill the void that the vandalized plaques left.


In January, 96 winners were chosen and the kids started on their mosaics, creating wonderful wildlife themed designs! Over 1300 community service hours have gone into revitalizing the park so far. Can you believe that 5th graders created these mosaics! What a great job! 


Way to go Tyler! We are so proud to have been a part of this project! To read more about Roseville Arts and the revitalization click here!


Weekender Project: Pompeii Mosaic Trivet

Marble is becoming ever more present in kitchens these days; add a little to yours with a simple marble trivet. What a lovely craft to create over this Memorial Day Weekend.

All you need is Antiquity Mosaics marble tiles, a base and adhesive – no nipping or grouting involved! The Greco-Roman pattern makes this trivet perfect for functional use or just as décor! Click on the link to download the instructions and pattern for this mosaic trivet and be sure to visit our Creative Corner for great glass crafting projects and join us on Facebook for great crafting tips, projects and news.

Creating Movement and Motifs in Your Mosaic

Most of us know that a mosaic is an assemblage of tiny tiles that come together to make an image. But did you know that there are several ways to add movement and flow or andamento to your mosaic?

Andamento is determined by placement of tesserae and there are many ways to draw the eye to or away from the central motif or background  of your design using one or more opus – or pattern.

For more basic mosiacs, opus regularum and opus tessellatum can be used. Opus regulatum is a square design where all if the tiles line up vertically and horizontally and opus tesselatum is  variation on opus regularum where the tiles only like up horizontally or vertically, in a brick-like pattern. In the mosaic bird house below, the roof has an opus regularum pattern and the front and sides of the bird house have an opus tessellatum pattern.

Opus palladianum or crazy paving is great to use as a background. Opus palladianum involved randomly placing tesserae in the main motif or background. This pattern is great for beginners and experienced mosaic artist mostly because placing random tesserae isn’t always so random! This image looks like an assortment of random tile, but believe it or not, it take a bit of time to make this mosaic look random.

Opus sectile uses large shaped pieces of tesserae for the main motif.

One really great way to incorporate opus sectile into your mosaic is by using pieces cut from stained glass.

Opus vermiculatum is a curvy, winding type of pattern. It is often used to create movement in the main motif and around it like in the picture below. When it is used throughout the background or entire mosaic, opus vermiculatum is known as opus musivum. When opus vermiculatum take a fan shape, it is known as opus circumactum.

To find the patterns and instructions for the mosaics above and for great mosaics nipping tips, visit our Creative Corner and find us on Facebook for more fun projects and tips!

Weekender Project: Antiquity Mosaics Marble Stepping Stone

Gardens were meant to be green, make yours a little greener with a green marble stepping stone! Marble is tough and durable even in gardens with heavy foot traffic and this classic stone will look great in any garden.

Use Antiquity Mosaic Marble Tiles to mosaic over a precast stepping stone or create your own with Jennifer’s Mosaics Outdoor Cement, you could even go a step further and mix in some Green Colorant to match the green marble in the stone! Find the instructions and pattern for this delightful mosaic stepping stone here. For a few marble nipping pointers, check out our post on Nipping Marble.

For more crafty inspiration, visit our Creative Corner and find us on Facebook for great tips and crafty news.

Mosaics – Nipping Marble Tiles

I think marble tile looks beautiful in mosaics, in fact, it’s one of my favorite tesserae to work with. I must caution though– it’s addictive to work with; with such naturally blending colors and beautiful veining it’s hard for me to stop.

When it comes to nipping, marble tile needs a different touch than glass tile, but fear not, these guidelines will help you get the best nip.

These guidelines really  only apply if you are using thin marble, like Antiquity Mosaic’s marble tiles  – if you are using anything over 8mm like what you may find in a home improvement store  may be too dense to nip and you will have to resort to using a hammer and hardie – like they did around the time mosaics first came about.

  • Unlike most glass tile, where you will most likely be using a wheeled glass nipper – you will find that the most efficient and effective tool to nip marble with is a tile nipper
  • There can be a bit of variance when nipping marble between and among colors. Since marble is a natural material, there are bound to be natural differences even within the same color tiles, some pieces may be considerably soft or hard based on natural differences, take this into consideration when nipping marble and note that sometimes you may have trouble and it won’t be due to user error.
  • To cut down on user error issues when you are nipping marble always use a firm grip to clinch the nipper’s jaws – if you are nip to lightly the marble can crumble
  • Because of the variance in the hardness of the marble, the best way to nip marble is by centering the tile between the jaws so that the entire cut line is covered – check out this video for a helpful guide
  • Relax and take a few breaks when nipping marble, especially if creating mosaics takes you to your zen place like me!

Head on over to our Creative Corner to check out some great marble mosaic projects and take a look at our new Antiquity Mosaic Kits while you are there – they contain everything you need to make a spectacular marble mosaic!

Weekender Project: Ravenna Mosaic Picture Frame

Still need a last-minute gift for mom? A mosaic project is in order – This Ravenna Mosaic Picture Frame is perfect to display your favorite photo for Mom!

No nipping is required so you could finish this project before Sunday!

Find the instructions and pattern for this marble mosaic photo frame here and if you’re looking for more inspiration visit our Creative Corner for lots of mosaic and glass crafting projects. Be sure to join us on Facebook for great crafting tips, projects and news.

Mother’s Day Mosaic Party

If you are anything like me, you are still thinking of what to get your mom for Mother’s Day.

Wouldn’t it be great to sit around and create something wonderful while munching on snacks and sipping a nice glass of wine?  Throw a Mother’s Day Mosaic Party for Mom this year! Invite the whole family or some friends!

There’s no better way to spend some good quality time with your mom and/or your kids this Mother’s Day than making something together.  After all, isn’t time the best gift we can give each other?

What you’ll need:

  • A few surfaces to mosaic – an old vase, plant pot, frame or mirror works great – old or new – pick whatever you like
  • An assortment of mosaic tile – Classico, Deco Ceramic and 3/8″ Venetian tiles are perfect because they require no nipping!
  • Tile nippers or wheeled glass nippers – if you choose tile that requires nipping
  • Grout – we recommend grey because it blends with everything – but if you want your grout to match the tile or surface you have selected, by all means try it!
  • Mosaic adhesive – we like to use E-6000 or Weldbond
  • Finger foods and wine or pop for the kids! – if you have a big family or lots of friends coming, make it a potluck – everyone brings something!

Head on over to our Creative Corner to get an idea of what to create! If you see something you like you can even download the pattern! Check out our store locator to find all the mosaic materials you’ll need. Take a peak at a few of our helpful mosaic blogs about nipping, grouting,mosaicing on a curved surface and clean-up to get a few pointers!

Happy mosaicing and Happy Mother’s Day too!