A mosaic is an artwork made up of many tiny pieces. Most mosaics are fashioned from roughly square tiles, known as tesserae, whilst others are made of rounded pieces and are called pebble mosaics. The oldest known mosaics date from the 8th Century BC. So if you're embarking on mosaic as a hobby, you do so in the knowledge that it has been enjoyed by countless others and is a long-standing and well-recognized art form.
To get started, you need a clear idea of what your mosaic will be so that you can purchase the appropriate materials. Abstract art, a mirror, a mosaic floor or wall or a clearly defined picture, there are lots of choices. In terms of materials, you need to purchase your tiles or pebbles and your base - this can be anything with a hard, flat surface, from a piece of furniture you're decorating to a piece of plywood cut to size.
You also need some tile adhesive to stick the tiles to the base and some mosaic grout, a cement-like material that fills the spaces between the tiles and gives a smooth, aesthetic finish. Grout is available in different finishes and colours so make sure you choose carefully.
Tesserae and Pebbles
Choosing the right mosaic material is key to the success of your design. If you are creating a simple mirrored mosaic, then you will want mirrored tiles. These are available in a large choice of different shapes or even mixed shapes, so plan your mosaic before you get started.
If a more abstract design appeals to you, then the choices are almost limitless. You can buy tesserae or pebbles in large quantities of a single colour, or in mixed bags with different colours, shapes and textures. You can shop by material too, choosing from glass, ceramic or marble.
For beginners or younger mosaic enthusiasts, starter kits are readily available which contain everything you need to follow a few simple patterns. Starter kits contain bases, glue, grout and all the necessary tiles for the patterns enclosed.