You've heard us say that just about anything can serve as a "mold" for glass mosaic projects. We've seen flower pots and bird baths, table tops and lamp shades, candle holders and tissue boxes and on and on. Now for the mainstream crafter—mosaic designs on terra cotta platters. These art glass-inlaid platters are both very attractive and very functional—a project with high popularity potential for mosaic enthusiasts everywhere. CKE's new pattern book, Christine Stewart's Mosaic Mirrors, Platters and More features eight original platter designs to get you going.
A Mom from Down Under, Christine has this to say about terra cotta saucers: "Terra cotta is a wonderful porous surface to adorn with mosaic. Its rich, warm tones combine beautifully with mosaic designs and glass colors, creating inexpensive treasures for your home or stunning gifts for friends." We wholeheartedly agree. More importantly, beyond providing the platter concept and a smart group of fresh patterns, Christine lets us in on the "tricks of the trade" when it comes to working with terra cotta
Within her simple but critical instructions, she advises us to always select unglazed saucers; it's the porous surface allows adhesion. Then, Christine walks us through the easy process of sealing the portions of terra cotta that will not be covered by glass mosaic, to prevent those areas from absorbing and being discolored by the grout to come. (To protect the grout in platters from food juices, a non-toxic sealer or use of plastic wrap is recommended.)
The book also offers a useful methodology for approaching mosaic design. Ms. Stewart advises planning designs within three fundamental elements: a border, a main design and a background fill. This is a mosaic method that celebrates irregularity and inaccuracy. "Fit simply doesn't matter, we're not creating a stained glass panel. In fact, irregularity of shape and line will enhance our mosaic projects." Encouraging words to those of us with less-precise inclinations. All of Christine's patterns use a background fill of glass "cullet" (broken pieces) made from stained glass scraps.
Pick up a copy of Mosaic Mirrors, Platters and More to get the hang of working with terra cotta platters. The information alone is worth price of the book, plus, you'll get plenty of great patterns and other project ideas. Then embark on your own, adapting just about any pattern you want to this novel project idea. When your own cupboards are full, think of what great gifts these platters would make! (If you can't find this book at your local supplier, call CKE: 360-352-4427)
A special gift to you from Spectrum, CKE and Christine Stewart! Download the pattern for the platter at right with instructions. Once you get started, you'll want the complete set of patterns. Look for Mosaic Mirrors, Platters and More at your local retailer.