Creating pictures from fragments
Mosaics are usually made from bits of colored glass or ceramic tile, but almost any material can be used. The pieces are glued to a wood or metal backing, and the spaces between them are filled with grout.
Draw your design full-size on a sheet of paper; the design is called a cartoon. Use tile nippers to cut your material into small fragments to fit the cartoon-the smaller the fragments. the greater the detail you can achieve. Using carbon paper, trace the cartoon onto the backing (the surface you want to cover with the mosaic). Then position the fragments on the original cartoon. Transfer the fragments to the backing one by one, securing each with the appropriate adhesive. Use tweezers for very small pieces.
After all fragments are transferred and the glue is thoroughly dry, fill the spaces with grout. Use a commercial mosaic grout, or mix 1 part lime with 5 parts portland cement and add water until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Ifyou want colored grout, add mortar dye to the dry ingredients. Apply the grout with a rubber spatula, forcing it into the spaces between fragments. Remove excess grout with a damp sponge. Let the mosaic dry overnight, then re-grout it and let it dry again. Vigorously brush the mosaic with a stiff, bristled scrub brush to smooth out the grout. Sponge the mosaic clean and apply liquid wax.