In progress: Feathers

Feathers mosaic on Wedi in process, left side

Mosaic sketch on Wedi board

Full sheet of Wedi board (3’x5′) with the sketch in chalk. Vertical lines represent the position of struts in the wall, where the mosaic will be anchored

This is my first mosaic project on Wedi board, which is a foam-core cement board that’s waterproof and much lighter than plywood. Wedi is a German company with few Canadian retailers, but enough of us Toronto mosaicists blathered on about it to the lovely couple that owns GlassMosaicCanada that they started carrying it a few months ago. So I can now buy it close to home.

It was important to find a lightweight substrate for this mosaic because of the size of the project. Even on Wedi, the weight of all the faux-marble, glass and mortar is considerable, so I designed the piece in two parts to be more manageable in handling and hanging. The curvilinear shape is also made possible mainly thanks to Wedi, which can be easily cut using just a utility knife.

Wall for mosaic

The colour is actually a lot more insane intense than this picture makes it seem

Feathers is a gift for my mother’s 50th birthday, intended to add much more va-va-voom to this crazy-coloured accent wall in my parents’ house than its current assortment of paintings imparts.

The design went through a few iterations (below), following requests that the two shapes fly apart rather than curve around each other, then flip open towards the top, then basically be made more like feathers. So hence the final design and title.

The materials used are all salvaged tile (mostly from the same scrap tile haul that supplied the materials for our backsplash), with the exception of the lime-green tesserae I bought to match the wall. This time I opted not to use the wet saw but to smash or nip the tiles into irregular chunks.

Evolution of sketches

Evolution of sketches

I was also able to get the official Wedi washers for mounting, although regular washers can also work. (More info on mounting & other Wedi tips in this mosaic forum post.)

Wedi washers

Wedi washers: prongs hold the washer in place (left). Washer stuck into board before tiling (center). Washer can be tiled over, leaving only the center uncovered. This can be covered with a single tessera after the mosaic is mounted on the wall (right).

So anyway, more than half done now. Will post the results when all is done & hung.

Feathers mosaic on Wedi in process

Comments

In progress: Feathers — 4 Comments

  1. I am really grateful for this post as I have never used Wediboard and it’s very interesting to see, in detail, how you approached the project. I especially like the wedi board washer tip!

    • That’s so great to hear – that’s exactly why I posted it!
      When hanging a mosaic like this on the wall, it’s also recommended to have Wedi washers on the back of the piece for maximum support. So that each screw hole would have one in front, one in back. I put the back ones on just before hanging and didn’t cement them in place – it helped that they could shift a little and align better with the washers on the front once the screws went in.

    • Tinted Thinset – the same thing I used for adhesive – just spread thinly on the edge like stucco.