Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A little about me and the 5 best mosaic tips that I learned along the way

This is my 1st blog.  I am not a writer or even the best teacher so how does someone like me start a blog?  I guess I just dive in and do it just like anything else.  The 1st time is always the hardest.

I have read many blogs and have learned so much that at times I don't know where to apply all of the information that I have learned.  The whole reason that I am blogging is because I read a blog about how I needed to blog.

I will start by telling you a little about myself.  I live in Southern Colorado amongst the Sangre de' Cristo mountain range with my husband Pat, Cisco ( an Antolian Shepherd/ Golden mix), and 2 brothers JoJo & Kingston ( Pyranese/ Bearnese mix).  We moved here almost 2 yrs ago when my husband got a job he couldn't refuse and I being the struggling artist (and very much in love with him) followed him here.  We were living in Salida CO before that which was named one of the 100 best small art towns in the US for 2 yrs.  Before that we were in Boulder CO area for 14 yrs.  Boulder is....well Boulder is everything they say it is and more. Great Art, Great outdoors, Great music, Great get the picture.  Now I am here.  Here is beautiful, inspirational, and serene but nothing much around for miles. Quiet and reclusive is great for creating art but not so much for promoting art. Which brings me back to my blog.....

What does a self taught mosaic artist with limited computer skills that never considered herself a writer write about in a blog that anyone wants to read?  I am much better at answering questions about my art than I am telling people all about my art.  I think that this little problem is not uncommon amongst artists.  It is like my artist statement.  I always kind of draw a blank there (again I'm no writer)  But I just cringe when artists predict that their art is going to change the world,  I could never have that Bravado.  I like confidence.  I even like cockiness but delusians of grandeur just isn't in me.  I just hope for my art that someone else relates to it and it makes them happy. I don't want to push my art onto anyone I just want people to be exposed to my art and they can decide for themselves .  Making a living at it would be pretty cool too.

If you are still reading this blog by this paragraph Thank you!  For that I will try to give you something of substance

5 Best tips that I have learned along the way for mosaic artists

1) Your grout should be mixed to the consistency of brownie batter not cake batter.  When you are starting out you tend to have alot of space between your pieces.  If the grout is too runny it will seep under your pieces and can be shown through (I only work in glass so this was a problem)  Now that you have  applied the thicker grout to your piece sponge it off with almost dry sponge.  Make sure that all of the excess is off. Look on every piece and around the pieces especially if you are working with glass globs.  Now is when you get your damp sponge and go over your piece.  This should give your grout a smooth finish. I also save all of my husband's old cotten t shirts for buffing.

2) The best tool that I discovered for cleaning off dryed glue and chipping away excess dryed grout is cuticle scissors.  They also work great for pulling up a dried on glued piece that you decide that you don't want.  The curved hook gets under the piece and just pops it off

3)  This has only happened to me 2 times but it happened.  I did a section on a mural I was working on. Stared at it all night and hated it.  Woke up the next morning hated it!  I had to scrape up about 6' x !6" dried glued glass pieces.  I put on gardening gloves and got my flat edge pastry cutter and wedged it under the glass and boom they all pop off!

4)  I also use the gardening gloves when I grout.  I have the kind that have the rubber hands.  I work in very tiny pieces and these gloves allow me to still feel the pieces under my hand and get the grout to go where I want without all of the cuts. Buy a few if you work in different colored grouts

5)  I also took some classes in silversmithing.  I had jewelry tweezers from those classes.  I NEVER work without them.  They are an extention of my hand . I would be lost without them!  Every piece is put into place by them.  If you get a pair clean the glue off regularly with a steel scrubby so the retention stays tight

Wow!  I did it!!  My 1st blog!
Thank you for taking the time to read it and if you ever have any questions I would be happy to answer them if I know the answer

See you soon!


  1. Great blog Danni!

    I always wanted an "inside look" into the artist's perspective as I couldn't even conceive of drawing stick figures...your work and your words are an inspiration to us all--so thank you!


  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to write your kind words!