Saturday, May 30, 2009

Helpful Hint: Using Square Tiles on a Round Table Mosaic

In doing mosaic tables over the years, whether they be small side tables or a kitchen dining table for two or three, my main objective was to maintain as much of the integrity of the vintage tiles I was using. Of course color coordination and pattern were important, and I made sure the design I came up with 'felt right,' but i wanted to keep as many of the old tiles whole as possible, even when the table base was round.

These are all tables that I have made in the past. In each case working with these antique wrought iron bases, the top of the frame would have a lip that I cut plywood for, enough to sit just inside that lip, inserting screws from below which where drilled into either the metal lip or the crisscross metal supports.

On the plywood I drew in pencil crisscrossing diameter lines and mark the center where they crossed; this is my starting point. I then worked my way outward until I could no longer fit a whole tile into the remaining space, and either cut that tile down to have as close to a whole tile as possible, or just take a hammer (and protective eye wear) and break up the tiles into smaller pieces in order to arrange them into the remaining spaces.

When the finished design is grouted (I'll do a tutorial on tiling down the road), what I always enjoy seeing is that when you are able to join the corners of four tiles, what you immediately notice is that the intended design extends way beyond the four sides of each tile -- the design continues beyond, and I find that fascinating.

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