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Interested in becoming a NO Days Featured Artist?

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Creating a Collage Mosaic with No Days Adhesive

Materials & Tools:
-mosaic tiles
-wooden substrate
-No Days Mosaic Adhesive Film
-standard heat gun
-sanded grout
-container for mixing grout
-tape for masking edges of frame

Approximate Time: 2-3 hours

The No Days Collage Mosaic is created by layering No Days Mosaic Adhesive on either side of a collage and then building your mosaic on top with clear glass. The No Days Mosaic Adhesive helps to seal the collage and waterproof it.

Using scissors or an exacto blade, trim two pieces of No Days Mosaic Adhesive to fit the base of the wooden tray. Put one sheet on your substrate and set the other aside.
Arrange your collage elements, using scrap-booking papers, magazines, catalogs, or copies of photos. After you’re happy with your collage, place the other piece of No Days Mosaic Adhesive on top of it.

Next you need to cut your clear glass tiles.
For this project, we used the Morton Glass Cutting System, which allows you to cut several small identical tiles from a sheet of stained glass. Score the glass every ¼”. Then, flip the glass over to score the other side at every 1”.  Break the glass into strips, and then break the strips into rectangles. When scoring and removing bits of glass, the smaller of the two pieces of glass is the most likely to break, so you may want to break the strips in half before starting to break off the rectangles.

Once all of your glass tiles are cut, you can begin layering them on top of your collage. Make sure you have placed a sheet of No Days Mosaic Adhesive between the collage and the glass. While you’re building your mosaic, it’s easy to nip your glass tiles to the correct size with mosaic nippers.

When you’ve laid down all of your tiles, it’s time to begin heating. Turn the heat gun on low, and hold the heat gun 8-10” above your project. Smaller pieces of tile can be blown away, so it’s best to start with the heat gun up higher and gradually move it towards your mosaic. Because there are two layers of adhesive and one or more layers of paper, you’ll need to heat for a bit longer, so that the adhesive under the glass AND the paper melts. Once the two layers have melted, the paper is saturated with adhesive and waterproof.

As you are heating, use a tool to press on the tiles and squeeze out air bubbles that get trapped between the layers of adhesive and collage.

If you are using larger glass tiles, you’ll need to heat longer to heat up the middle of the glass and the adhesive underneath.  When you’re using clear glass, it’s easy to see when the adhesive melts. You can use tweezers to test the adhesive, as well.  If you push on the glass and it skids or doesn’t move easily, then you need to keep heating. If the tile slides across the surface of the frame, then you know that the piece will stick.

When you’re done heating, turn off the heat gun and set it with the point facing straight up. This will ensure the longevity of your heat gun by forcing the residual heat to rise up through the end of the gun, instead of getting trapped and burning out the elements.

While the glass tiles are still warm, you can gently move them into place or straighten them if you need to.

The adhesive will cool in 5 minutes or less, and you will be able to grout the project immediately.

If you’re using a grout that has colorant in it, tape off the edges of your frame to keep the grout from discoloring it. We’re using a dry grout method of grouting that is less messy, dries almost instantly and sets up in a few hours. Using sanded floor grout, add water and mix the grout to a drier consistency than recommended on the package. The grout should just hold together when you squeeze it in your hand and have the appearance of wet sand. Push the grout into all the crevices between the tiles. Clean up the edges where the mosaic meets the frame using a dental tool, clay tool, or even a toothpick so that the grout lays even with the surface of the tiles.
Dump the excess grout off of the frame, and polish the piece with a paper towel or dry rag.  

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