Laure Norton says she’s always been creative, as being artistic was a way to keep herself “entertained.” But 15 years ago, when a friend taught her how to use colorful pieces of broken glass to turn an old table that she found in the trash into a work of art, she says mosaics “clicked” for her, and she’s been specializing in that type of creativity ever since.
At first she was inspired to use pieces of stained glass and sea glass to create wall art from old, rustic window panes. She sold them at art shows, where customers scooped them up. But the Great Recession “changed everything,” she says, and people stopped spending money on home décor. They began asking her to teach them the craft, instead.
Now Norton’s mosaic workshops and private how-to parties are popular and her mobile business, Beach Life Mosaics, is growing. She teaches people how to create beginner level decorative pieces, including mermaids, seahorses and sea turtles, by bringing all the supplies and step-by-step instructions to them.
Norton says her “Mosaic 101” lessons are perfect for anybody who doesn’t know where to start. We asked her to share with our readers a simple DIY project for the home.
Available at craft or hardware stores or online.
• An 8 inch x 8 inch piece of MDF (micro density fiber) board and extra scrap pieces
• Four different colors of glass tiles (monstermosaics.com is a good resource)
• Elmer Craft Bond clear-drying adhesive
• Glass tile nippers
• Ruler and pencil
• Sanded tile grout
• Large Ziploc bag
• Rubber gloves
• Paper towels
• Foam brush
• Grout tile sealer
How to Make a Trivet Directions:
1. Cut scrap pieces of board into four small squares for “feet” and glue onto back of 8 inch x 8 inch board in each corner.
2. With pencil and ruler, draw a geometric pattern to feature four different colors on the front of the 8 inch x 8 inch board.
3. Using nippers, snip tile pieces into triangles. Place tile pieces around pattern to design your trivet with an eye for color placement.
4. Working on one color section at a time, rub adhesive on the back of the tile pieces and place them 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch apart on the board. Leave 1/4 inch around trivet edge to be filled with grout. Once all pieces are placed, let dry 24 hours.
5. Mix grout using recipe of 3/4 cup grout to 1/4 cup water. Put grout mixture in a Ziploc bag and massage contents by hand until the consistency of soft peanut butter. Clip corner of Ziploc and squeeze contents over all tiles, as if decorating a cake. Wearing rubber gloves, use fingers to rub grout mix over entire surface of the trivet.
6. Scrape excess grout onto a paper towel. Wipe entire surface with clean paper towel. Set in sun to dry for 15 minutes or indoors for 30 minutes. A haze will have appeared on the tile pieces, wipe off again with paper towel. Repeat drying/wiping off process two or three more times until haze is gone.
7. After three days, use foam brush to apply grout tile sealer and dry 24 hours.