Sunday, July 18, 2010

Business Card #3

It's not a pix-elated - it's a bone black undercoat, with a light black mica coat. And topped off with a brushed copper finish. I got the effect from uses a damp angler brush with no extra add water.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Grout Dyes

Even though the grout job seems unimportant compared to the glass-work, it in reality is actually - if not as important - more. It can be the final touch that really brings the piece together or ruins the piece.

In my "Will I Find Piece", the entire piece was grouted with a muted lilac grout but the glass of the center image was relatively lighter than the outer parts. It actually completely washed out the image, making the image unreadable. So I mixed some acrylic paints, made it into a wash, then carefully applied and allowed it to set.

I often come up with a conceptual grout color but I can't recall ever following through with that same color, sometimes I go lighter or darker but most of the time it's an entirely different different color. So I suggest waiting till the very end to decide a grout color.

When it comes to dying the grout, you can purchase commercial grout dyes, but I find they can be pricey. And colors are limited. I start with a neutral gray or white grout either premixed or powder form.I prefer powder, so that i can control the viscosity. Having complete control of everything in the art form is crucial. White is the best for beginners, but whenever using white in general it's a battle with white's intensity. I love using acrylic based paints, stay away from oil colors because oil will effect the composition of the grout and it will not dry properly.

The best paint out there is GOLDEN, it's pricey depending on the series. But this is because their pigments are pure and rich. Compared to Liquitex which is high in binder and has a considerably low pigment. Golden paints are beautiful and are unlike any other brands. You don't need much considering that most of the time your grout color should be semi muted so that it pulls the piece together rather than overwhelm the viewer or make the image less important.

Try not to add too much paint, because you already have enough moisture from the water added to the grout powder to make your grout mixture. The more paint the more moister and it may cause the viscosity to go down. So one tip is to make your grout a tinge dryer so that your paint if need be, will compensate with it's own moisture.

Grouting can be the most fun, because it's a hell of a lot easier, requires less patience, and allows you to get creative. In future posts, I'll talk about mediums that you can use to give even more texture and unique color effects.

Monday, February 8, 2010


You can find grout either at your local hardware store or sometimes at your stained glass dealers studio. But like I've warned you - it may cost more.
At your hardware store, you'll most likely find earthy toned grouts and white. Sometimes you'll get lucky and find a maroon or green. Otherwise, special colors will need to ordered. You other option is to dye your grout. The benefit to that idea is that you can dye your grout any color. Make sure you buy one step grouts that require just adding water. Otherwise you'll need to purchase a 3 part mixture which can get annoying when it comes to finding the right proportions.
There are 2 types of grout: sanded and non-sanded. I work with sanded grout which gives my work an added texture and look. And the main difference and that the sanded has larger grains of sand in it where as the non-sanded is ground up so much that its essentially a powder. Don't worry about scratching your glass, the surface of the glass is tempered well.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Adhesive is one of the most important materials needed to create a well crafted mosaic. Stay away from inexpensive water-based glues like Elmers and Elmers "Glue All" Craft glue. Glues like that are so weak that when you apply grout, the moisture from the grout will cause the glue to breakdown and your glass will fall out as you are scraping and sponging your excess grout. Also stay away from novelty adhesives that you will find at craft and art supply stores. These adhesives are usually called simply "mosaic adhesive" or "Mosaic Grout and Adhesive". They dry too fast and you'll end wasting more glue that actually using it. This can cause an uneven-surfaced mosaic. They also tend to be white in color, which is okay if you have opaque or solid colored glass but if you want to use translucent glass (which I use often)it will show right through and look terrible. So even if you come across something I haven't mentioned to stay away from - make sure it's at least a clear glue/adhesive.
I strongly recommend UHU brand mosaic adhesive. It's a clear adhesive that is very strong but if needed, you can easily remove your glass. It's water based amazingly but it's unexpectedly strong. It also drys at good rate. And it's cheap. Apply it with a paint brush to assure an even coat. You can find this adhesive at craft stores such Micheal's and A.C. Moore. Some stained glass resellers/studios carry it. But I suggest buying it from a store because resellers tend to inflate prices.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Your Surface

When searching for the right surface to create your artwork on, you have a few options. I prefer to go to my local Blick Art Supply and purchase "Blick Studio Artists' Boards. I use the "Flat" style, take a look.
Its a heavy duty panel, that is primed with gesso (which is awesome and helpful), it won't warp, they're reasonably priced, they come in standard framing sizes and unique sizes, and has built in convenient hang holes on the back.
The gesso allows you to draw or paint on the panel before you glue down your glass. And also allows the adhered glass to grip the panel
You can visit a local store or obviously shop online. If you are trying to save a few bucks, you can go to home depot and purchase ply wood. They'll most likely cut it for you but I wouldn't trust them if you know how to use a saw. I went there for my very first piece and the cut was not straight. Wood also warps over time and change of climate. - joshy b