Making a Better Workspace for Mosaic Art

I love my workspace!

I love my workspace!

My first ever blog post is about where and how I work. And how it changed dramatically for the better over time.

Mosaic garden art was my first love. At first the dining room table seemed great for the design phase and cutting the stained glass pieces, and we had a nice big butcher block table in the carport for grinding glass and working with cement benches and stepping stones. But I really didn’t like messing up the dining room, and the carport is not very hospitable in the Pacific Northwest for months at a time.

By my second year, I was more than ready to try a different space. We cleared out a small loft space upstairs and moved in some old tables for me to work on, such as this beauty.

OldDesk

Okay, this desk is fine for working on one task at a time while sitting. But my process involves sequential tasks that required constantly getting up from the chair and moving to a different worktable. So the chair frequently got moved out of the way, I was forced to stand and bend over when using the tables, and ended up many days with a backache. Not ideal!

In February of this year we finally reorganized the loft. Thanks to the Internet, I found instructions on how to make a counter height craft table that is 80″ long and 37″ high. The tabletop is a hollow door (24″ x 80″) that I stained to match the woodwork. It rests on two cube storage shelfs; mine are black but they are also available in white. Add in a counter height stool that swivels and has a back and you have an ergonomic and fun place to work.

The wonderful “how to” article (http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2012/07/make-a-counter-height-craft-table-from-shelves-legs-and-a-table-top.html) lists what I ended up purchasing at the end of the instructions, as an alternative to several Ikea products. So if you have access to an Ikea store, the bulk of the article outlines what may be an easier option.

The end result for me is a great space where I can sit or stand and have access to all the stages in creating a mosaic. For example, I can:

*Draw a design (on paper or clear glass), decide on a color scheme, and label the pieces when desired.

*Place the  design on top of a light table and trace the design onto semi-opaque glass.

—  If the glass is too opaque, I might trace the design onto a clear plastic page protector (very inexpensive), cut it out with small scissors, slightly wet and place it onto the opaque glass.

—  If there are many pieces in the design, sometimes I make a xerox copy, cut out each piece and glue it to the glass instead.

—  Sometimes I don’t do any tracing. If the design is just a suggestion, the scoring and breaking is more free-flowing.

*Score and break or nip the glass.

*Grind any rough edges that you want to look better. Sometimes the rough cut look is better and I don’t use the grinder at all.

*Ensure exact fit of each piece of glass by placing back on original design and then readjust as needed.

Once all the pieces are glued to the base, I wait at least 24 hours before grouting. Here are some pictures of the grouting process and the end result.

The final steps involve sealing the grout and attaching hardware for hanging the piece.

As you can see, everything can be done in one small space. It totally helps to have music playing and your cat (or dog) supervising the process. My pixiebob kitty (Scooter) has a hard time staying awake, but that doesn’t stop him from keeping an occasional eye on me.

Pet Companions Help a Lot!

Pet Companions Help a Lot!

Hope you found something to interest you in my first ever blog post. Would love to have your feedback. The next post will be about mosaic yoga cats. Stay tuned and thanks for being here!

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2 Responses to Making a Better Workspace for Mosaic Art

  1. ltmartin1256 says:

    The feeling is mutual, Ween. Happy Birthday week to you!

  2. Colleen Miko says:

    A well arranged space makes all the difference! Creating things is so much easier when you are comfortable and tools are convenient. I love my new “craft space”–created after thinking about how I work on projects AND after reading “Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art”, by Rice Freeman-Zachery. Thanks for giving me the book, Louise.& for being a great friend!

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