Making mosaic tiles/pieces

1wandererMay 25, 2013

On my mosaic wall I want to put some small tiles or broken pieces that I have designed or painted myself. I also wantt to do some with writing on them.
In the past I have used 'glass' paint on ceramic tiles that you then bake in the oven.
This has lasted outside for many years however does now look a bit shabby.
Any suggestions as to what mediums to use?

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I suppose it's time I chime in on this. My experiences in North East TX climate is to not use any hand-painted pieces outside. I used hand-painted plates from World Market in Dallas on a birdbath - the Upsidedown Floppy Hat - and all the glaze has come off. IMO, it is best to use porcelain or very hard ceramic plates. I think NT or SILVA posted the types of ceramics best used outside. The ones from Walmart - ironstone are so danged hard I can't nip them, so have to put them on the tile saw, but they do well outside. You can use glass, hard ceramics, metal etc. Although some metals w/rust, I don't mind that. Pictures please of your WIPs.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I would love to see this list of the best ceramics to use outside. thanks!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 6:34PM
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Me too

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 1:49AM
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Well, there y'all have it, Ladies. It was WACKY who posted the types of pottery best suited for outside. Check out her post.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 7:50AM
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The whole "what plates can and can't be used" makes me a little crazy. So today I sat up at the hut with the hub and we dragged out lots of different plates and started cracking. If you're like me, you might get something out of what I'm going to say. I also re-worded some of the info on the site that is mentioned above to simplify.

For outdoor Mosaics

High Fired in a Kiln: YES

Porcelain: is usually Fine China (not FROM China) It's VERY hard, breaks very white and has a smooth kinda glassy surface.

Stoneware: Can be Brown, Buff or White, commonly has specks. Lots of plates today have the word "STONE" on it, does not mean it's stoneware. In fact, I would AVOID all New plates that dont say Porcelain or Stoneware.

NO to Earthenware.... it's porous and the glazes are not strong enough to hold up outside in cold weather.

So I'm thinking, NO to terracotta, it's porous too?

Slo, you mentioned NO to handpainted dishes, but I wasn't exactly sure what that meant.

I bought some inexpensive dishes from Kohls awhile back, they chipped like crazy and felt soft and were a lighter weight than some of my older dishes. So I think I'm getting a feel for what plates can and cant' be used.

My last mention is a site I found that gives illustrated directions for breaking plates. Thought it was pretty good.


Here is a link that might be useful: How to Break Plates

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:56PM
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I love that website!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 2:52PM
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The plates that are hand-painted w/usually have that printed on the back. Re the website on how to cut plates, that's how I've always done it. B/f I started mosaicing, I Googled a ton of tutorials, and I believe it was The Joy of Shards - or one of those major sites that had the tute on cutting the plates. That's also how Susan Weschler teaches her students. If the plates are highly patterned or solid colors - I've sometimes just used a hammer w/the plate inside plastic bags. My first outside projects were the pedestal in my front yard and my front walk project. I didn't follow any rules on what kinds of ceramics were appropriate - AGAINST the advice of the guy who owned the largest tile store in town. Not one piece has come up, and that was over nine yrs. ago. I just don't get my panties in a wad over rules. I've pretty much done whatever the hay I wanted to do, and I'm pretty happy w/the results - most of the time. I learned by doing. The most important things that I learned was not to mosaic on wood or terra cotta pots for exterior projects.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 6:32PM
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