Here is a section featuring a woman shopping downtown. Once you have your image under plastic pulled tight, and mesh laid over that, then you can begin nipping tile and gluing it onto the mesh. I printed out 8" x 10" sections in color to refer to because in certain parts it's hard to see what's going on in black and white. I use Weldbond glue, fiberglass mesh, and frost-proof porcelain tiles and stained glass because this is going on a buildings exterior and you need to use exterior grade materials. I used a black Sharpie pen to outline on the mesh where I will be cutting the mesh into pieces. That way I know not to put a tile over the line so I can cut it out later. From what I hear, the pieces should not be larger than 18" or the weight of the tiles will pull the mesh down if you're adhering it to a vertical surface.
Here is the finished garden sphere or gazing ball. You wouldn't know it's a basketball, but then again, I did end up using orange as the main color...It's surprisingly light after using so many solid cement bases. Hollow sphere's are nicer on the back should you choose to move it. Can you see the beer bottle caps in there? They usually fade in the sun and rain so I'm going to try coating them with clear nail polish to see if that protects them at all.
Even if they like to walk around your mosaic in bare feet and distract you with a barrage of magic tricks and name that tune games, you can't help but love their presence. Here, Jackson is doing some avant-garde measuring...from here to...somewhere.
Sometimes in a mosaic I want to maintain a realistic look and the tiny details might get lost if I resort to only using tiny tile pieces. When that is the case, I just make my own tiles. For the downtown scene that I'm currently working on, I've decided to make many of the small signs myself so the words are still legible from far away. For the Nubel Theater I made five individual letter tiles. Unfortunately in the first glaze firing they came out a little too orange so I'm adding another coat of a yellow orange mix on top. These glazes are different than the first try so they should be more golden.
Once your image is under plastic (wrapped tightly so there are no ripples) roll out a sheet of fiberglass mesh. I bought this 38" tall roll online. It's cheaper to buy in bulk, like most things. I had to lay out the mesh in three pieces so the whole image got covered. Make sure the mesh seams don't overlap and that they meet squarely. You'll find that you can see your image right through the mesh and so you can follow it as your guide. In the above photo, the mesh is covering the left 2/3rds of the image.
First, you will want to enlarge your image to fit the size of the mosaic you want. I'm going to be creating a mosaic that is 5 feet wide and roughly 6 feet tall and arched at the top. My mosaic is going to be of a downtown scene. It's way more affordable to enlarge to this size in black and white and I'm really only using the image as a guide. Tape the enlargement down and cover it with clear plastic like so.