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Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Posted by Imsunflwr1 (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 15, 11 at 19:26

Hi There!

My name is Marcia and I'm new to mosaics... so new in fact I'm signed up for my first class at the Chicago Botanical Arboretum starting in July. What I want to do is a fountain like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/suzetteh/202512139/in/set-72157594148190029

or this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rbrucemontgomery/4587127124/

I've been doing a lot of reading here and other sites. I bought a 10" beach ball, the kind in the cages at Wal-Mart. Not a blow-up one. I think from what I've read I'm going to use Rigid Wrap and then a layer of Fiberglass mesh with Mapei UltraFlex II. I saw where someone had "primed" their ball first, but with what I'm not sure. Some kind of spray it looked like. Anyway... then let it dry and then more Mapei to adhere the tiles, then use as grout also. I'm not sure if I should remove the rubber ball? Also wondering how to do the plumbing? I'm thinking after the sphere has cured to drill a hole and use a PVC pipe? Like a said I'm a newbie and have no clue what I'm doing, but that's never stopped me in the past. If you have other ideas or suggestions please chime in! I sure would appreciate some advice. :)))

Thanks much and hope to hear from some of you.
Marcia


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

I love those ball fountains too. I'm putting a hot link to the first one below in case anyone has a hard time with it.

Good luck,and I'm also eager to hear answers and suggestons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mosaicked orb fountain


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Hi and welcome. I'm just getting started here also.

So glad you posted that link, I want to make one of those fountains too.

There are a lot more experienced folks who can advise you on the details.

Calamity j. just made a sphere and I've attached the link here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Calamity j's gazing globe


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Thanks for posting that link concreteprimroses... I should have figured out how to do that. Isn't that fountain awesome! Hopefully we'll be hearing from someone soon! :)

That's a pretty sphere too, Rock. Is it a fountain also?

Thanks Gals!


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I have a book by Sherri Hunter where she makes a sphere fountain. She uses polystyrene which allows you to run the copper tubing through the sphere before covering the ball with concrete. Personally, I'd never be able to carve a perfect ball out of styrofoam!

I searched "concrete fountain sphere" on google and it came up with lots and lots of pages. Don't know how good any of them are, but there seemed to be lots of tutorials.

Will be curious to see if any of the more experienced artists here have attempted it. In the meantime, good luck with the project!


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HI there Folks! I am sitting at Slowmedown"s computer writing this!!! WhooHoo!!! So I would say a simple water globe would be to find a old glass light globe, put a pc of PVC pipe in the middle and fill it with concrete, then let it cure for a day, then smash the glass off it and it is a globe with a hole in the center, ready for mosaicing.


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I keep thinking on this. What about paper mache over a beach ball that could be deflated? Even let the little air thingy stick out so you can undo it easily. Cut holes in the paper mache to insert a small copper tube through. You'd want to also cut a slice off the bottom so the bottom is flat and will sit. Use that hole to remove the beach ball. Cover it all with fiberglass mesh that you slurry first, just to get a hard shell on it that is light enough not to collapse the mache. When that hardens, cover that with chicken wire and mortar over it so you have something even thicker.

Just a theory...


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Hi Lori and thanks for the replies. I've done searches and have a few tutorials bookmarked... Just trying to decide which one to use and what would be the best way to get a hole through the middle. I went shopping today and bought assorted beach balls and an exercise ball. Also located the Mapei Ultraflex 2, bonding agents, and I did buy some nearly 3" wide figerglass dry wall tape. I'm going to order some Rigid Wrap from Amazon b/c I think that will be the first layer. Another decision is weather to fill the ball (with concrete or expanding foam)or to make it hollow??? Right now I'm leaning towards making it hollow and after the concrete/mesh shell has cured then drill a hole for the PVC. I found a great piece of scrabbooking paper with daisies and ladybugs that's my design inspiration. At least that's what I'd like to try. I guess I'm just going to have to experiment to see what works for me. Thanks again... any other ideas and suggestions are more than welcome!


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The posting above from Slow is from CALAMITY, who is visiting me. If I were making this project, I'd get an exercise ball from an athletic store - not an inexpensive ball from Walmart - have read too many bad reviews on them. I'd cover it w/the rigid wrap, then the fiberglass tape, apply a coat of mortar mix - not Ultra Fless II - too expensive, and not necessary - smooth it evenly w/a wet paint brush. Then I'd wrap it again w/the fiberglass tape. Then another coat of mortar mix. After this drys, you can put on a thin coat of slurry, if you like, w/the Ultra Flex II. THEN, I w/mosaic it, using the Ultra Flex II as adhesive. Not necessary to use it for the grout - I use Mapei Keracolor sanded grout. You can easily drill a hole in the mortared ball after it drys to insert your pvc for the water feature. I even drill holes in the things I make using the metal lath/mortar - easy peazy.


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Hugs to you Slow! That's the reponse I was hoping for. I appreciate the advice on what to use and what not to. I was looking at the mortar at Lowes today... do you think I should add the acrylic additive to it? Can't remember the name of the product, but I remember reading about it in one of the tutorials.

The "slurry" that you're referring to... is that just thinned UltraFlex II?

Please tell Calamity that I said thanks for her response... didn't mean to ignore her. I did find some of the glass globes at a garage sale, but not big enough for what I want to do... don't think they'd make them that big, but I like her idea to make some small mosaic spheres for the garden.

Again, Thanks Slow!


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Wow, I'm keeping this thread too!

Definitely make the sphere as hollow as possible, I know that much because mortar is heavy and glass, tile, stone is also. Add it all up and you might need to work in place. I've found that in planning some future projects.

I linked the sphere from calamity j. because it's a great inspiration piece to "borrow" ideas from.


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Thanks Rock! I got the idea of filling it from this Yoga Ball tutorial, but you definitely have a point there and I think she does mention something about the weight. I did see another tutorial about making an egg shell thin hollow sphere, but the sphere isn't mosaiced so I don't know if that's such a good idea. I think I'm going to go with the method that Slow mentioned.

Here is a link that might be useful: Yoga Ball Sphere For Mosaic


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I have done this .I used a beach ball with no problem. I used fiberglass tape and did what slow said layers of fgt and thin set about 5 layers .It has been out side about 2 years but it is not a water spear.
src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v358/nana7/mosaic/summer2011023-1.jpg" border="0" alt="210 garden">
210 garden


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Wow! That is beautiful! I just love the mixed media and the base is just great! Thanks so much for your input and the inspiration!


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nanatricia's sphere would be a great fountain. The water would ripple over the different thicknesses.


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It sure would! There are so many fun things and textures going on with this sphere!


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Nanatricia, that is just gorgeous!
Kathy


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I'm still working on this idea and gathering supplies and info, but still... my big question is. Do I leave it hollow or fill it with something like expanding insulation foam? On a large sphere like this will 2 - 3 layers of FG mesh and thinset be enough to support the weight of the mosaics? I'd hate to put my heart and soul into this and have it collapse! Yikes!

I received a nice message back from the lady that made the yoga ball sphere and she filled it with plastic bottles and expanding foam.

What do you think???

Here is a link that might be useful: Mosaiced Yoga Ball


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IM: I'd go w/the lady who actually made one. That sounds like a wonderful idea - fill it w/the plastic bottles so that you wouldn't have to use so much foam. When I get around to making one, I hope to have a hole in mine to make a bubbler. Attaching a website for a picture of my inspiration. I sooooo want to do this. Also, CALAM showed me a picture of one of KLINGER's little planters. She only prepared a portion of her ball to make a planter. Gonna request that KLINGER post a picture of her little bowl she made w/the balloon/ball.
Little and Lewis concrete sculptures


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Thanks Slow... then I'm going to do it just as she says. Went out and bought the foam this afternoon. Think I'm going to do a large beach ball before I do the yoga ball I have. I have all the supplies, but am waiting for tile samples from a few suppliers. I've never done this before so I really don't know what I like yet. Right now I'm leaning towards Datile ceramic frost proof tiles, but I also love the looks of stained glass, vitreous, and broken china. I want to do it all! Hopefully I can get the nerve up and just get'er started and at least get the sphere done!!!

Thanks again!


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I remember how afraid I was to step out and try something new - my first front walk application. After I got it done, I wondered why I had let fear rob me of such pleasure, and why I waited so long to experiment. It changed my whole life. Not one of those tiles have loosened. You're gonne have so much fun. Betcha you'll become addicted just like the rest of us. Welcome to the wonderful world of mosaics, and creating your own substrates.


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Interesting...I've never heard of ceramic frost proof tiles. Do you have a link to where I could find those? I like doing mosaics with larger 4" tiles, but find the porcelain is just too hard to cut. I also have trouble finding quantities in less than a case. I'd love to know what you've found!


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Hey Slow... thanks for the encouragement! Just what I needed to hear! You're truly amazing!

Lori, I found these on Sherri Warner Hunter's site, just scroll down a bit. I guess she calls them "frost resistant". She's teaching in Australia right now so I haven't been able to order the sample board, but I've looked on Daltile's site and they have lots of nice colors.

http://www.daltile.com/seriesprinter.cfm?series=26

I've inquired locally and no one has them in stock so I'm still waiting to hear back if they can special order small amounts.

She has a couple other brands listed too.

Hope this helps... :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Sherri Warner Hunter


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Wow, Marcia thanks for the link. I reference Sherri's books CONSTANTLY, but I never once thought to see if she had a website. Duh!

I would really appreciate it if you could let me know what you find out about suppliers and quantities. I have a project coming up where I'm planning to put a series of over-sized (17-20") stepping stones in this rock path we just created:

Photobucket

I would LOVE to be able to use those larger tiles. I've made a few things by cutting larger shapes from 4" ceramic tiles, and I really loved it. But I'm gambling that my weather in California will be mild enough for them to last, and I have trouble finding quantities in anything smaller than a case. I'd tried porcelain, but the 5/16" thickness is just too hard to cut. It sounds like this frost-resistant ceramic might be just the answer.

Please let me know what you find out. In the meantime, I might do some checking and will let you know if I come up with anything helpful.

Wow, excitement! Thanks so much for pointing me to Sherri's website. I never dreamed she would be selling some of the supplies she refers to in her books.


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You're welcome, Lori. Glad I was able to help. I still haven't heard from the local flooring company here so I'm going to call them again tomorrow. I'm just so glad that Sherri has them! Her husband called me back a few days ago and said that she'd be back in about 2 weeks.

Love your rock path... perfect place for stepping stones. I was at a party store a few days ago and went nuts with all of the cool things I found there that would double for concrete molds! One thing I've wanted to do ever since I saw it in a Garden Gate magazine years ago is a little millstone bubbler, but they're soooooooo expensive... if you can find them! This party store had all these lightweight plastic cake lids up to 18" in diameter. They're about 2" deep and I think they'll make the perfect molds. Also these cute little "candy balls" that are in 2 pcs. for little gazing balls on a stick! :) You just never know where you might find the right molds! Who'd ever thunk a party supply store! lol!

Let's keep each other advised about the Datiles! :)


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Beautiful area, LORI. Steppers w/look great in there. Re where to find molds, check out Hobby Lobby - cake decorating supplies. I have a mold - flower shape, and have about five/six steppers made up. I use scrap lath in the middle and use leftover mortar and grout to fill it up. One of these days, I'll mosaic them. Also have a face mold from HobLob. Got about a dozen faces - looking for inspiration to make something using them.


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Your garden is looking great and the stepping stones would look good there. I've enjoyed checking out your blog recently too.

Sherri Warner Hunter has a class at our local art school in October. They don't have the details up yet, but I'm definitely checking it out.


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You are so lucky! I'd love to take one of her classes. I was thinking about going down to TN, but the class I wanted was already full. Maybe one of these days... I was able to get into an Elder Jones class at the Chicago Botanical Gardens in Sept. that I'm really looking forward to.


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Just realized this side of GW doesn't show your state like it does on the garden side. I'm in San Antonio, TX and the program is at the Southwest School of Art.

During one recent class on faux bois concrete, Carlos Cortes the master of faux bois dropped by to check out the work and encourage the class. I'm not sure I would have been able to keep working!

Here is a link that might be useful: Carlos Cortes


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Marcia, LOVE the idea of little gazing balls on a stick! I'm going to have to check out the candy section next time I'm at Michaels. I use all kinds of molds for stepping stones, but mostly the plastic saucers that go under a potted plant. They only cost a buck and I can get tons of stones out of them.

I just poured a bird bath top using two plant saucers. A big one for the bottom, then a smaller one to make the "bowl" in the center of it. Waiting anxiously for it to set up to see if my concept worked. But I like multi-taskers like that, and finding molds out of the unexpected, as opposed to buying actual concrete molds which can get pricey!!

But thanks for the props on the yard. We just busted our bums landscaping it from a weedy lawn into this so I'd have a place to display my mosaics! LOL Okay, so we were planning on doing it eventually, but when I got half way through with Mr. Sea, I realized I had nowhere to put him when he was done. So I stopped and did this yard project first. Now, as you can see, we need more color to bring continuity to that bright blue shed (yes, we did that on purpose! LOL)

And JEALOUS that you can take a Sherri Warner class, ROCK. But how exciting for you! I'd love to hear about it if you take it. I've been eyeing SAMA. I would love to join and go to a conference one of these days. I was a romance writer in a past life, and LOVED the romance writers conferences. Have any of you been to SAMA?


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Here are pics of the candy balls and lids I was talking about.
balls

balls2

and here are the lids. 18", 16", and 12" and about 2 1/2 " deep.

lids


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Those candy balls are awesome, I love the idea of doing little gazing balls.

Are they about 3" diameter or so?

The 18" lids are so useful for nice big stepping stones.


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The balls are bigger... about 6" in diameter, but wouldn't they look great on a copper pipe?


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Ooh, I really like the design in those lids. I'd take some of my mortar and color it, then press the alternate color around that edge and maybe in the center. To me, it's screaming for two-tone.


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That's great that those are a nice size so they'd show up well. I'll look for them because that would make it a lot easier to do spheres.


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Yes, and I'm hoping that if I do this right I'll be able to reuse them over and over. The lids are a bit on the flimsy side, but hoping to do the same with them.

Some good news... I think. I was at Home Depot today and some nice brightly colored ceramic wall tiles caught my eye. The clerk told me that they were new and special order. The more traditional colors you have to order by the carton, but the brights you can order by the tile. 6x6 was .99 except for red pepper, that one was $1.19. They are not frost resistant, but I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I am going to have to bring this baby inside for the winter anyway. I'm really pretty excited about finding these tiles!


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Oh, I'll have to check out HD again. I know you have to buy the beautiful colors by the carton, and our store never has anything but the boring beige stuff. I shared a carton of reds from Lowes w/FLAG. They were expensive - $75. for 40 tiles, so we each got 20. It was those reds that flaked a bit in our last two winters. I can use them in a protected area here.


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Be sure to check out your HD... all of the Group 2 colors could be ordered by the tile and there were 10 beauties including Red Pepper, Chartreuse, Tangerine, Cobalt, and more. Then several more colors you had to order by the case... some nice blues, spring green and then all of your neutrals plus black and white. I'm trying to decide what colors and place an order today.


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Ooh, I'm going to have to go back to Home Depot. I made this little end table last summer from their ceramic wall tiles:

Photobucket

At the time, these were the best colors they had (a step above beige but not as exciting as chili pepper!). Being that the table weighs 100 lbs (the base is poured concrete) I didn't bring it in this winter. We do get frost in Northern California, and the temps in my garden have gotten down into the mid- to high-20's. I've got some cracks in the grout (should I worry about that?) but so far no chips in the tiles or anything.

With my oversized stepping stone project coming up, I was thinking about risking it and just using the HD wall tiles again. I'm crossing my fingers my HD has these awesome sounding colors too! As for winter, I guess worst case scenario is I'll have to make new ones if these old ones only last a few years (darn it! lol)

I just love to mosaic out of these larger tiles. I've made flower petals out of the 4" tiles and things like that. I guess it's much like the flexibility you'd get using stained glass but without the huge expense. Marcia, if you use them, get yourself one of those cheap tile cutters. I bought mine for $16 at Lowes, I think. They're the kind that score the tile, then you push a lever to snap it. Really handy!


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If you live near a Floor and Decor Store check them out. They are a great place to buy tiles and have tons of bright color tiles mostly on closeout super cheap. The tiles on the website are just their stock tiles and only a small part of tiles they carry. They have a lot of specials and single boxes of tiles that are "odd" colors like bright green for bargain prices.

The Daltile factory here sends all their seconds to the Habitat Restore to sell. I appreciate a lot more how easy it is to find tile here after reading these threads. We have a number of tile factories and distributors from Mexico based here so cheap tile is everywhere.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floor and Decor


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Well you're lucky, Rock... I went to 4 different carpet/tile stores today and the best I got was they could order for me, but it would have to be by the carton. For some DalTiles it was $189.00 plus shipping for one color!!! Unless I go into retail I don't need 80 tiles of 1 color much less afford that. A bit disappointed. I did check Lowe's again and thought if HD was getting some colored tiles Lowes would be too... The clerk found some in the new catalog... American Olean(sp?), but all of the cool colors have been discontinued! *sigh* I did order some from HD today... should be here in a few weeks! Excited about that!

Also I wanted to report that I got a call today from the Chicago Botanical Gardens and the "Garden Mosiac Class" I had signed up for (my first mosaic class) was cancelled for lack of participation. :((( BUT in some ways I was relieved b/c it was going to be a 2 hour drive each way every Tues. for 6 weeks... and it does allow me to take a leaf casting class in July that I just found out about. She had 1 opening left and I grabbed it! Super excited about that!


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Leaf Casting sounds awesome, that's on my list of project interests. I definitely want to see how it goes.

There's a Floor and Decor in Lombard, IL if that's anywhere near you or you are driving that way sometime.

American Olean and Daltile are the same company with slightly different products. They are always changing and adding to the line and it's hard to find tile in colors because natural stone is so popular. It is quite common for them to require large minimum orders on special runs.


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Hey Lori! Now I see your table... I tried to find it on PhotoBucket, but couldn't. That is just wonderful! And the base is just perfect for it! I did order some tiles from HD... tangerine, yellow, red pepper, and chartreuse! I also bought a box of spring green and dusty blue that they had in stock. I'll be sure and let you know as soon as they arrive! I've already got the nippers and tile cutter and have been practicing. :)

Rock, I did check that link and I'm no too far from there... I'd say about and hour and half. I did a search and it looks like they may have the same thing as HD. I'm just going to wait for my order to arrive. I still want to find a purple and hot pink! lol! May have to make my own hot pink!

My leaf casting class is 2 Wed. evenings starting 7/20. I'll try and take pics, but I'll be sure and let you know how it goes! I'm excited!


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I bought the three sets of dishes today - nice golden yellow, lime green and a brillian orange - from Walmart. Those w/yield tons of tiles. Gonna try a leaf cast tomorrow myself. Have Elephant Ears, and I want to try a baby leaf. Bought the dry wall tape today, so hope I can figure this out and make a little spout for my fountain.


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Think I'm going to have to make a trip to Wal-Mart.

I think this is a good leaf tutorial.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaf Tutorial


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What a great tutorial. The lady is a pro. WONDERFUL results.


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That is a beautiful leaf. Great tutorial, I've seen all kinds of variations. We can only grow rhubarb as an annual here and have to start it in the winter.

I've picked up purple plates and other bright colors at the thrift stores.


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I've scouted lots of Burdock plants (weeds) out in the country, but I believe the teacher supplies the leaves. My neighbor would kill me if I took one of her Rhubarb leaves... they never get very big though b/c she makes pies and cakes all season. Yummmm!


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Yum, maybe she'll share the leaves with you after you learn the process. I'd probably use Philodendrum Selloum which does grow big here and is similar in shape though not quite as pretty.


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Loribee2, maybe you would like to try and cover your table in the winter, keeping it from getting wet and freezing? I love that leaf tutorial too!


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Well, I'm making progress... I got my garage cleaned out. May not sound like much, but it was a huge job and that's where I intend on making my sphere. I'm really ready to get going now... have the mortar, the FG mesh arrived, the ball, rubber gloves, mixing bowl! Now to take the plunge!

I did want to share this bit of info... I am really psyched. I found these tiles online and located a dealer. I spoke to them today and all I need is to order a minimum of $45.00! I don't have to order by the case. The 4" x 4" is $2.36. 12x12 is $5.29. More than HD, but look at the colors!!! The dealer is about 1-1/2 hr. away, but I want to see the colors in person and ORDER!!! I am really excited!

Hopefully I'll get started with the mortaring tomorrow!

Here is a link that might be useful: McIntyre Classic Porcelain Tiles


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Oh my goodness - what wonderful colors - sorta expensive, I think. Shipping???? W/you go pick them up instead of paying the shipping?


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Yes, I think so too... right up there with Wits Ends 4x4 tiles, but those colors!!! I'm going to have to limit myself to those that I can't find cheaper. I want some pinks, purples, turquoise.


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My biggest concern about the porcelain tiles would be the thickness. Porcelain is HARD. I had trouble cutting very thin porcelain tiles. I got some thicker ones on sample that I would never be able to cut if my life depended on it. So unless you're using a wet saw, see if you can get a sample of a porcelain tile before buying any quantity.


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Thanks, Lori! I forgot about that. I plan on going there tomorrow. I know they have some in stock so I'm going to bring both my nippers and my tile saw... buy a few tiles, take them outside, and give it a try. That would be horrible to spend some $$$ and not to be able to cut it! Yikes! Thanks again for the warning!


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Well, I'm very much hoping you can work with them. I'm always looking for suppliers that will sell quantities under a case. Can't wait to see what you find out!


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Just a follow up on the tiles... I did make it to the tile store in LaGrange, IL and had a wonderful time... a really neat little store in a charming suburb of Chicago. I took my nippers with me and was able to cut the tile. They had some small 2x2 so I practiced on them. It did seem a bit harder, but I went ahead and ordered some 6x6 in Crimson and Emerald. Also ordered some Crossville Color by Numbers WT11 & WT12. Probably won't get those for several weeks. Also ordered some American Olean brights in Antique Rose, Peacock Blue, and Grape Soda. Hopefully I can get those b/c Lowe's said they've been discontinued. They also carry all of the TREND tiles that Wits End Mosiacs carries. It was fun seeing them in person. Some of the tiles will be mailed to me directly, but I'll have to drive back in a few weeks to pick up the Classic Porcelain tiles. I'm really excited about finding this source! Not cheap however!

HD called and the tiles I ordered arrived! That was quick! Picked them up and I really, really like them! Ordered a few more colors! Well, I should have enough tile for a while. Just need to get that sphere made!

Here is a link that might be useful: Crossville Color by Numbers


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WOW - you should have enough to make several projects. Beautiful colors. Also, have you thought of using glass tiles? I didn't see any pricing on their website. REALLY anxious to see your first pictures of your WIP.


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Yay! I finally started. My first experience with thinset and I learned a lot! My biggest fear was getting it mixed... wasn't sure of the proportions, but I think I got it right. Seemed right anyway. I used 3:1. I will do a few things differently when it dries enough to finish the first layer..

1. This stuff is sticky!

2. Use a larger stand. I didn't think about the weight getting unequal as I applied the mortar and had a hard time balancing it until I could get it evened out. Last thing I needed was it to fall over.

3. I need to come up with a better tool to spread. I tried my hands, but I don't like that. My hands were so glopped that I was having a hard time picking up the mesh or anything else without a huge mess! Tried a spatula and didn't like that either. What do you use?

4. Got my lazy susan out... this will help!

5. Cover my work surface! I'm using my old dog grooming table. It works out just perfect so I want it to last!

More later...

Here is a link that might be useful: It's a start!


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Congrats on getting started! It looks great so far!


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Congrats on a great start. In order to get your thinset smooth, remember - I suggested you use a wet paint brush. I also use gloves that I use for dishwashing - Playtex - to spread it w/my hands - then the wet paint brush. Don't use your bare hands - that stuff w/ruin your skin. Gonna be interesting to watch this project. Aren't you excited???


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Thanks Lori!

Thanks Slow... I was wearing gloves, but it was just so sticky, I did go to the store this afternoon and came across a great spatula for mixing and small plastic putty type knife for spreading the thinset. I finished the other half and the new tools worked out great. After I had the mortar spread and the FG set in I used my gloved hands to add more in areas that needed it and smooth. After that I did like you said and used the damp paint brush. I did remember you saying that, but I thought it was just for the last layer. It worked like a charm... very slick! Wish I would have done it for the first half, but now I know.

A few questions... How long should I wait before I put on the second layer. It should be dry by morning... can I do it then??? Or should I wait for a few days?

About how thick a layer of thinset do you strive for you when you spread it? I think my first layer ended up a bit thick.

A silly question... I decided to use Mapei UltraFlex II... does anyone else love the smell of it? I know... weird! lol!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Hi, you are doing great.I think the pic you showed as a first coat was about what you might expect. Think of this first coat as just the base. To get a good product that is going to stand up you'll need to build up to an even thickness or as close as you can through out the whole sphere, You can add subsequent coasts to it as soon as it has hardened up enough to accept the additional weight and still keep its shape. Concrete actually cures, It's a chemical reaction occuring where the portland bonds together the aggregate. At the one week stage, it will be at around 90 percent of how hard it ever will be. The first few days it will be pretty fragile, so if it starts to slump, or crack, just walk away and let it cure some more before you play with it anymore.You should always try and keep it wet while it cures for the first few days at least. That helps slow down the curing and it will be stronger.When you add any more coats make sure to only apply them to a wet surface, just spray it down with water or acrylic admix if you've got any.You'll get a much stronger bond that way.Get your base coat on before you need to worry much about how smooth it is,the wet brush trick will give you the smooth result you want when you are at your final coat. You may get hooked on playing with concrete and glass, it is tons of fun,so many possibiltes, too little time.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Klinger! Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice! I found a great little tutorial and after reading your reply as much as I want to do more I think I'm going to be patient and wait a few days before the next layer. I'll have to be sure and remember to mist it down before I apply the next coat. Great tip... thanks!

Here's a pic of the completed first layer. You can't really see it in this pic, but I'm leaving the top open. More pics on my Flickr page and my new favorite tools. :)

first layer

Here is a link that might be useful: great little tutorial


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Oh oh oh!!! It looks great, girlie. Isn't it exciting to be creating something like that? As SOON as I can find a stopping place, I'm gonna try that. You have first class advice from KLINGER. She's the pro on concrete for sure. Wish I could take a class from her. It's her little fragment bowl that got me all inspired to try this ball stuff.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Pheeee-wy it's hot here... 99 degrees this afternnoon! The heat really zaps me, but I did stash my new haul of dishes from the TSA & GW and deflated the ball... it didn't have a valve so I just jabbed it with a knife and it was easily removed.

empty4

I think the next step is how I'm going to do the plumbing. I do have some ideas so I went out and bought what I think I'll be needing. After the plumbing is in I'm going to do at least one more layer of thinset and mesh. I'm having so much fun with this... just wish it weren't so darn hot. I'm anxious to get the structure done so I can get to designing, nipping, and mosaicing!!!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

You've done a fabulous job on this. Now you're a pro, and can teach!!! Very interested in seeing your next steps, and of course we'll be anxiously awaiting the color step. Ohhhhh I want to do this so bad, but I have tons more to do on the shrine, so can't start another project b/f finishing.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Well, I'm a little bummed... the PVC pipe has really been displaced with the expanding and shrinking (photos on Flickr)... and is now no where near the middle. I'm a perfectionist and don't think I'll be happy with that and I can't move it. I'm thinking about starting over. Do the same only fill the ball with the foam, let it cure for a few days and then drill a hole down the middle for the pipe. It's so easy to cut I think it would be pretty easy to drill through, don't you? Trick would be to drill the hole straight and not end up at an angle. Think I'd rather start over than put the time and money into the mosaicing and not be happy. Think I'll practice drilling straight with this one. Am I crazy?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mosaic Sphere Set


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

If the ball is perfectly round, couldn't you make where the pipe comes out the new middle? Cut your ball hole around the pipe, instead of worrying w/the relationship of the pipe and middle. Then cover over the old hole w/tape/thinset - just work around where your pipe is instead of in relation to the existing hole. Hope I'm being clear. That's a very nice tutorial.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Brilliant!!! What a great idea, Slow! I think it's pretty round, but I still have at least one more layer to even it out. I'm gonna try it! Thanks so much!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Wonderful! Great tutorial.
What is the purpose of the foam? Could you skip it, or use newspaper or packing peanuts (the old indestructable kind?)
Kathy


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Hi Kathy,
I'm following the tutorial that's linked below. She did it to make the sphere stronger to support the mosaics and I thought it was a good idea although her sphere is much larger. What do you think? Do you think it would be strong enough with 3 layers of thinset and fg mesh to skip the foam?

Here is a link that might be useful: Yoga Ball Sphere for Mosaics


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

I don't know cuz I've never done it. Perhaps fiberglass isn't as strong as the mesh people use here to make hollow statues. Hopefully one of them will weigh in.
Kathy


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Are you talking about the diamond lathe? That would definitely be stronger than the fiberglass mesh. Before I filled it with foam I had 2 layers of mesh and ts and it seemed quite strong. Plus I plan on adding at least one more layer, but since I have no experience I decided to go with someone who had. I'd hate to go to all the time and expense of mocaicing and have it collapse. I wish I knew for sure...


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

The wire mesh is by far stronger, however if you have made a good strong mix and let it cure properly it will have no problem holding the mosaics. The larger sphere I made is really strong and I wouldn't hesitate to mosaic on it. I also added acrylic admix and fibres to my mix, and cured it damp for a week,even the temps and humidity can make a difference in how strong your project will end up.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Thanks klinger! I used UltraFlexII that has the fiber already in it, but next time I'd like to try your mix. Could you post your cement recipe. Also... to "cure it damp" do I just mist each layer, wrap it in plastic for a few days, and then do the same for the next layer? Appreciate your help!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

When you keep a cement piece damp it slows the cure and makes the end project stronger. For something like a sphere I would wet towels or old rags etc and just drape them over the top and hose it down periodically. If you have a large enough tub you could plunk the whole thing into it and submerge it in water. especially with it being hot out. I use a lot of different mixes. I used three parts sand to one part portland, added fibres, used half and half acrylic admix and water. I also used a product called silica fume,but you really need to do a lot of cement work to be bothered buying something like that.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Wow, you've made a lot of great progress on this! And how nice of you to photograph and upload the steps to Flickr. It's always helpful to see the process, in the event I might get daring enough to try something similar. Looking forward to the next steps!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Thanks klinger... appreciate the info!

Hi Lori! I'm afraid I haven't made much progress lately. It's been so hot and we've had so much rain here I've been taking advantage of the soft ground and weeding! I was spending so much time on my sphere/tiles/dishes and neglecting everything else. I'm also trying to get my basement cleaned out to make room for my mosiacs studio. :) I've hauled all kinds of stuff to the Salvation Army and while there, have found all kinds of fun old dishes in so many cool colors and designs. Also had my Leaf Casting class Wed. night. It was so hot and humid that night, but 5 of us showed up and we got them cast. Will write more after I pick it up on Wed. evening. Can hardly wait to see what it looks like when turned over.

I hope to get going on the sphere again soon! What have you been up to?


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

I hear you on the weeding. We live on clay, so weeding and planting are always done after rains, LOL. So cool that you've got a basement you can turn into a studio! I work in a shed outside, and while we don't get extremes here in California, I do use a fan when it gets hot, and I got a great space heater for cheap at Lowes. It blows air and reciprocates (? moves around I mean). I'm LOLing that you took stuff to the SA and came home with dishes.

I don't know if this works for you, but I tend to do my concrete work when the weather is mild. Was it Slow who said above that concrete cures best when it's wet? I also find it does better on cloudy days when it's neither too cold or too hot. I make a lot of stuff (stepping stones, bird baths, mushrooms, butterflies, etc.) on those days, then go back and mosaic them later, since that's more forgiving when it comes to weather. Plus it serves my ADD by having lots going on at once, LOL

As for me, I haven't been doing much art work. I went to a reunion out of state and brought my guitar to play for the family. Thus, I spent the weeks before practicing so I wouldn't embarrass myself! But while I was there, my brother gave me a ton of beautiful blue tiles. I'm salivating over them but am forcing myself to finish some things I started before starting something new. That's how it happens though! You'll get half way through something and get distracted by new pretty tiles or plates you just found and before you know it, you've got six things at the half way stage. LOL

I keep forgetting to ask you. You mentioned ordering tiles from HD. Do you know what brand and line you ordered? I've gone to my HD twice and both times, I get someone who barely knows what they're doing. They get all their catalogs out and go, "I think it's this" (think??) I've been afraid to order a case of something when they aren't instilling much confidence with me. Maybe if I can point to something specific, I'll have a better chance. Were they porcelain or ceramic?

I'm really enjoying watching your progress. LOVE the flowers you've drawn out on the sphere. I think after all the figuring and agonizing, you're going to end up with something really beautiful in the end!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

I was just about ready to go to bed when this came in so I'll write more later, but follow the link below and it will take you to a set where I have the HD tile info.

I did receive them within a week and I love the colors I bought. I haven't cut any of the special order colors, but I did try out the in-stock colors and they cut/nip fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Depot tiles


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

That is so cool that you play the guitar! With regret I never learned to play an instrument. Maybe one of these days... you're never too old, right? I suppose you can sing too? I couldn't to save my soul, but I can lip sync real good! LOL!!

Here's another link below where I've ordered tile... I haven't mentioned it before b/c I haven't received them yet and probably won't for 2-3 more weeks, but I'm pretty excited. I saw these in the Lowe's catalog, but when I asked about ordering they said that all the "brights" had been discontinued, but actually they're made to order. I ordered several colors... expensive, yes, but the place that I drove into and ordered those McIntyre tiles from charged $191.25/carton so even with the shipping much less expensive and I'll have enough tiles for forever! LOL! Probably not once I really get going mosaicing. BTW I'm not getting those tiles from McIntyre... at least not for now, the factory burned down about 2 weeks ago. They hope to rebuild and be back in operation in about 4 mos. They're in CA so you might have heard? So sad!

That's a good idea about when to do the cement work. My time is pretty much my own so I can pick and choose when I want to do things. We do have beautiful Falls here that can run into Nov. which I am really looking forward to. I've had enough of 90+ degrees! I had to chuckle to myself as I was typing that statement about the SA and buying dishes, but that's me... and I know I'm not alone. hehehe!!!

I am really excited about getting the studio set-up. It will be nice and cool in the summer and there's a heat vent for winter. I used to have it set-up as my craftroom where I did decorative painting many years ago so the basics are there. There's still so much to do... in fact that's what I need to do is get downstairs and pack things up for the SA!

Here is a link that might be useful: American Olean Brights


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Congratulations on the studio set up.
It sounds wonderful. I'm eager to see more of the mosaic sphere!
Kathy


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Thanks for the tile information! That's really helpful. And yes, McIntyre tile is in Healdsburg, which is just north of me. I didn't realize their studio had burned down. How awful. I had heard that once a year they put on a big sale and sell off all their remnants, but I'd never gotten a chance to check it out.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Well, I've made a bit of progress lately. I'm going to let it rest for a day or so and then add the final layer of thinset to try and even/smooth everything out. I think at this time I've done the best I can to correct the aligment of the pipe... besides it's getting heavy. 23.1 lbs.

Hopefully the rest of my tiles will arrive soon cause it's almost time to mosaic!!!

layer2

choco2

choco top


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Wow, it's even nice looking as just a big terra cotta ball!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

WONDERFUL JOB! Love all the pics!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

The top 2/3rds are done. I did add another layer of mesh to the top and then just thinset. Will wait a few days and add another layer to the bottom third. A bit on the lumpy side and not the perfect sphere I was hoping for, but am just going to chalk it up to my first attempt. I've learned a lot from this one and will do things a bit differently next time...

top


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RE: Thanks!

Thanks Calamity!


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Looks terrific to me. I'm so anxious to see this finished and placed in its home. Can you show us a picture of where you plan to put it?


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Yes, do show us where it will go in the garden.
Kathy


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Here's the location, but right now it's covered in Zinnias!... it's a little nook by the stairs to my deck. I've always planted annuals there b/c I've wanted to do a pond for years and just never have. I have the basin, pump, and outlet ready, but am just hoping to get the mosaicing done by the end of summer/fall. I'll probably wait til next season to actually set it up as a fountain otherwise I'd end up having to take it right out again for the winter... besides the zinnias will bloom til frost and I just can't dig them out... they are so beautiful!

If you look at my garden pictures... the picture of the white clematis is what's behind the zinnias which is now done blooming. In anticipation of this fountain I planted 2 new ornamental grasses, but they're so small right now you can barely see them behind the zinnias.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Oh wow! What a beautiful garden!

Your fountain will be just right there or anywhere.

It almost makes me want to move, but I'll get over that feeling by January when I'm sitting outside reading and enjoying all the birds that winter over here. Each place has it's own good points.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Thanks Rock!

"It almost makes me want to move, but I'll get over that feeling by January when I'm sitting outside reading and enjoying all the birds that winter over here. Each place has it's own good points."

LOL!!! That's the truth! Come January I'll be begging to come down there for a visit! :) The winters do get long here, but when it's in the 90s the summers do too. I want it all... high of 70, low humidity, and overcast skies. lol!


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That's one of the most beautiful flower gardens I've ever seen. You must spend most of your time working outside in that lovely place. Your fountain w/be at home anywhere in it. Where do you live?


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Thank you! I'm up in northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border.


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RE: Mosaic Sphere Fountain

Gorgeous! The fountainw ill be the icing on the cake. or maybe the icing is there already and it will be the second tier!

beautiful beautiful combinations of plants.
Kathy


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