Repurposing for the better – Mosaic tile process

A broken mug becomes a mosaic plate

A broken mug becomes a mosaic plate

How do you come up with your ideas and solve problems? I quite pleased with the smashing result of a recent smash.

Back in 2010, I went to a paint-your-own-pottery place and painted a mug for my husband – he’s used it every day since for his morning coffee. Recently it broke, right down the middle. There we were, looking at the two halves feeling a bit sad. Then it occurred to me – the paint-your-own-pottery place also did mosaics. They had tiles available and encouraged people to make pretty mosaic frames and the suchlike.

I felt a flash of hope and called to check that they could accommodate my very own broken mug. They warmly assured me that I could bring it in and make a mosaic.

The mosaic design in process

The mosaic design in process

The people in studio were very encouraging and helpful. They had tile cutters and cut the mug into little pieces for me to use in the mosaic. The lovely woman helping me was initially upset that the bottom of the mug split in two as she cut it. But we quickly agreed that the diagonal slice added an extra element to the design. It was destined to be the focal point of the mosaic plate. As I experimented with the design, it became clear that I couldn’t make it a dense mosaic – it seemed that the irregular little pieces didn’t like to be close to each other and positively demanded breathing room.

I ended up with an airy design that had pops of red and black and cream. It’s got circular movement, spiraling out from the bottom of the mug in the center. I pushed in the grout with my fingers and left it looking a bit nobbly. I didn’t smooth it out as I felt the rough contrast with the shiny shards of pottery worked well. It turned out well and we are now figuring out where to hang it on the wall.

My lovely father in law asked me how I’d thought to make a mosaic – it’s just the way my brain works. Perhaps your visuals aren’t broken, but lets put together both our different brains to make sure they truly express who you are.

The Mosaic