Large winter project...looking for input

taigen_gwAugust 24, 2009

I posted this over on the garden junk forum and they suggested I post it here as you guys are the experts. Hope you can help out a newbie to the field. Thanks

I haven't been here in a while but I am gearing up with some ideas for the coming winter months.

I am planning on doing a large (6')mosaic mirrored oblique for the garden through the winter months. The frame work has just been built and I will be picking it up this week.

I am looking for any insight into mosaic work you can offer as I have never done mosaic work before but have worked with stained glass over the years.

My hope is to incorporate some stained glass dragonflies, birds, pond related items into the piece with the mirrors. I will probably use the reflective silver tape under the stained glass so it will show nicely. I decided to do smaller broken pieces of mirror because in our climate it really would never last as a single sheet...our winters are incredibly harsh at times.

I plan on using GE silicone II for the "glue" and wondered if this would be best? Also I planned on using a sand base grout, does that sound right?

So that's my plan...any thoughts, hints, tips?


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This project sounds awesome!!! Welcome aboard too!!! I am glad to hear that the mirror won't be left as is as the birds are likely to injure them seves with it, at least I heard that somewhere....What substrate are you using? This will be 4 sided(oblisk you said?), ohhh, sounds cool! Have you been checking out Flag's Triple Garden Bling Extravaganza??? She used mirror too!
So harsh winters make me hope that your substrate will not be wood, as it will swell and crack the mosaicing....I use outdoor grout, I buy it in a tile shop(flooring shop) not at a box store, and also use outdoor sealer, but that is because we get wet,cold,freezing here...If it's metal...well show us pics!!!! We will cheer you on all winter with works in progress pics..that's all we ask...heh heh! So with mosaicing, it's a good rule to make sure your grout lines(space between pcs) is no more than 1/4 inch, as it will be more prone to crack during bad freezes...even with sealer...I have learned! So either outdoor mortar or the silicone is fine. Hopefully someone else will chime in to add more stuff for you!!! Jane

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:59AM
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Thanks calamity for the input...That shower door is amazing, how long did it take you to do?

The frame is made of wood but it will be sealed with an outdoor sealer. Hopefully that will be alright?
Yes it is 4 sided "obelisk". Hahaha I never know how to pronounce it let alone spell it LOL!! I first saw a solid mirror one at a garden tour and have wanted one ever since but I know our winters would crack it for sure.

The link below takes you to a photo of one almost identical to the one I saw. I'd love to own one like it, it's breathtaking, but I think mine with the stained glass accents will also be nice. I have two ponds and it would be perfect out there. I hope to use larger pieces of mirror than would normally be used in mosaics I think.

I'm really looking forward to learning and joining in this side of the forum. Thanks for the welcome.

Here is a link that might be useful: mirrored obelisk

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 12:24PM
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WOW! Now you have me thinking...I have two metal ones but the sides are not solid enough to mosaic. Beware of the wood. The only wood things I have used outside in my garden are some wood sticks that I put rebar into and stuck in the ground. I first did some stuff and used wood sealer like Thompson's Deck sealer. NO NO NO. The sealer and the thinset had a reaction and my tess fell off. Then I did some with about 3 coats of Kilz on them to seal them and they are still standing and holding well. I would advise you to set yours on stepping stones or concrete so that it is not in contact with the ground and seal the heck out of it with KILZ then do a slurry coat of thinset or mortar on it and then adhere your mirror with thinset also. Silicone is okay if you are working on metal or another substrate but wood I would do the slurry coat and then use thinset and you should not have any problems. Use a good outdoor grout and seal the grout with TileLab sealer. Hope this helps, I am going out and look at my metal ideas. ugh

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Taigen, hi! And...

You've gotten some good information from Calamity and Flag who both do loads of wonderful enduring outdoor work. Good luck with your project. I can see why you fell for the oblisque. It's beautiful. We'll all enjoy seeing your project as it develops!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 3:30PM
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The project sounds wonderful, the picture of the mirrored obelisk is beautiful and OMG Jane the shower door is an inspiration! I love this forum!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 3:44PM
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Flag...thanks for the info, I do have some Kilz here and I will treat the wood with that. I will be picking up the frame on Thurs but I am not sure when I will actually start the project as our weather is still quite nice so far. I want this to be a winter project I will do in my artroom. I will seal it before though.
It will be placed on a large rock out in the flower bed but I will make sure it doesn't sit in the soil to rott.
I will have to look for the tile sealer you mentioned.
Thanks everyone for the welcome and the info.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 9:05AM
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We are glad to have you. The Tilelab sealer is avail at Lowes in their ceramic tile flooring dept.
You have me thinking mirrored obelisk now and I am looking at my metal one and trying to figure a way to turn it into a mirrored one.
Good luck

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 2:54PM
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