I have made a few stepping stones inspired by traditional patch work design. They can be time consuming depending on how perfect you want your crockery pattern, but not hard to make. A perfect beginners project if you are new to mosaic!
YOU WILL NEED:
- kiln dried sand
- broken crockery
- moulds – I used plastic garden plates
- safety googles
- heavy duty plastic gloves
- plastic bags for wrapping up project as it cures
- old towel or rag for grouting
Begin with drawing your design inside the mould.
When you are happy, it is just a matter of filling the patterned area with crockery pieces. Bluetac the entire side that are to be attached to your base, and squeeze it down hard, you don’t want any concrete sneaking underneath.
Remember to bluetac the pretty side of the crockery! You are building your mosaic up side down…
You can see instructions on mixing concrete and basic casting here. Don’t forget to be safe. It is important to use googles, a mask and plastic gloves. Breathing in the concrete is dangerous and it can burn your skin and damage your eyes. I always read the manufacturers safety data sheet for further instructions and I advise you to do the same. Be careful as you handle it in both powder and wet form.
After you poured your concrete into the plates it needs to cure. Leave it wrapped up airtight in plastic.
BUT…This project should be checked after ONE day. I mentioned earlier that the concrete can sneak under the crockery if bluetac has loosened slightly in places. That can easily be scraped off and corrected before it has cured fully. Open your plastic covering on the second day, and remove your object CAREFULLY. Remember that it is still soft, and edges can break very easily.
If concrete is covering your porcelain it needs to be scraped of. This is where you can play archaeologist…..Don’t worry to much about marks, as they will be grouted over in the next step! Recover the stepping stone airtight in plastic as soon as you have finished. You need to water the concrete before closing the parcel again. Just pour some water on it. It will drip of, but moisture will remain in the bag.
Concrete dries out your skin. It can also still be curing even if it is hard to touch. Curing concrete can corrode your skin and cause serious burns. Therefor you should always wear your plastic gloves as you remove items from moulds, sand them, scrape them or handle them.
I would leave it in the bag for at least three days. Have a critical look at your piece as you take it out. The crockery might stick out in places and the edges can be sharp. What you need is a layer of grout. Mix the grout with a little extra sand. I use 1 part snowcrete to 3 parts sand. Slop it on, rub it in and remove the excess with a towel. Now all you need is to wrap it up again to dry slowly, and you are done!