Not everything is big in Texas…especially not my 650 square foot condo that I felt needed a little excitement. Everyone knows the kitchen is the epicenter of one’s home (no matter how small), so I figured this would be the best place to create a piece of art that would inspire my cooking as well as conversation from my family and guests.
I ran across the idea of creating a backsplash using broken plates and glass. As you see, starting small is not something I do often. This installation was truly a labor of love, and took about a month to design/install, but the results were well worth the work!
To begin, I started scouring second hand shops and garage sales for relatively flat plates and ceramics that had interesting design elements and colors. I specifically looked for round “focal” pieces that would eventually become the center of my circles in the design. I also purchased some scrap stained glass to include as well.
Next, I measured the dimensions of my backsplash, and drew a life-sized template onto a couple pieces of large plywood.
I used tile snips to break the plates and stained glass into even-sized pieces, and laid them on my plywood template to help create a master design.
IT WAS AT THIS POINT where I wished the epiphany would have occurred that actually took place a couple of months AFTER I finished the backsplash (all you DIY-ers know what I’m talking about here…the OMG-what-was-I-thinking? moment. Yeah…that one).
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED:
I hand-carried the two pieces of plywood that had my backsplash design loosely atop CAREFULLY from the dining room table to the kitchen counter (without tripping). Then, I proceeded to BACK-BUTTER each individual piece of tile and stick it to the wall in the EXACT SAME placement as they were on the plywood. Right.
(At that moment, I had no idea how time-consuming, labor-intensive, and utterly ridiculous this was…but at the time, I had the “DIY tunnel vision syndrome”, so I pushed through!)
WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED:
I skipped down to the ol’ orange and white store, and picked me up some mosaic tile mesh! I laid down parchment paper over the plywood template of my backsplash, and placed 1 x 1 foot squares of the mosaic tile mesh over the parchment paper. I glued my tiles with Welbond to the mesh, allowed to dry, and affixed the individual SHEETS of tile to the wall with mortar. Then, had enough energy to clean the entire house and prepare Beef Wellington with Truffle Sauce, Almond Glazed Onions, and Honey Orange Hericot Vert for dinner! Right.
Believe me – it is MUCH easier to glue tile to a horizontal piece of mesh sitting at a table and then place them on the wall rather than back-butter and affix each individual tile to the wall! Hindsight…(you know the rest).
After the design was successfully transferred to the wall, I grouted, and VOI-LA!
Now, on to tackle BEEF WELLINGTON!
For more photos and information about this project and Ginger Araujo, visit www.mosaicsbyginger.com.