The Fireplace Mosaic


That’s a word I made up in response to a comment by Chris Hall from Luna’s Online. She mentioned the famous architect and mosaic artist Antoni Gaudi (click here for Google images) in a comment on “Our House, Part 2”. I replied that perhaps my house was getting a bit “gaudi-esque” with all the mosaics. FYI, we language teachers (along with authors, as Chris can tell you), do get to make up our own words!

Then just recently I read an article about DIY home “improvements” that actually make your house harder to sell. Although the article didn’t come right out and say you shouldn’t mosaic sea animals on your bathroom tile or a “welcome mat” on your front step, it did caution against painting your rooms bright or unconventional colors.

I think it may be a little too late for my house…

It was around Christmas time, and, like most people, I was spending the long, socially distant winter evenings at home, looking at mosaic ideas on “Pinterest.”

I had been wanting to do something on this fireplace for awhile, but not wanting to alarm my Pinterest “followers”, I was keeping my fireplace mosaic ideas on a “non-public” board.

An idea was slowly starting to take shape…

Not wanting to start something as involved as the ideas I had saved on Pinterest, I decided to start with just a strip along the edge of the mantel.

My trusty assistant resigned himself to yet another exciting project.

I tried to do the strips in lengths that would be easy to handle.

Because the fiberglass mesh is sticky on the other side, I was able to press a piece onto the bricks just to get an idea of how it might look.

Finally it was time to affix the strips to the mantel with Thinset mortar. Since I believe in the “grout as you go” method, I grouted it in sections rather than waiting until the whole strip was finished.

Grouting is usually my favorite part, once I’m sure I’ve got the right color. But as an FYI, you should put a sheet or something down over the hearth or you are going to get little pieces of grout and mortar all over it. It might be a good idea to take everything off the mantel first, too. (I won’t go into whether I learned that the hard way or not.)

Now the only thing I really need to do is to grout the end pieces, which you can’t see in this photo. But it is a pretty old fireplace, and it’s never actually used. So I guess it couldn’t hurt to add some more…

24 thoughts on “The Fireplace Mosaic

  1. I love your all your colours! I know what they say, but the first few months we had our house here, I had a feature wall painted in red in the kitchen, the rest in yellow and several other rooms done out in more shades of yellow (nothing pale, I hasten to add).
    The fireplace looks really cool, too! I read those final three words and suddenly had a vision of you in high-speed motion, covering all the brickwork…
    Meanwhile, we’re building a new lexicon one word at a time 😉 – thanks for the mention!

  2. I really like your mosaics, they’re beautiful! And I like the bright colors on your walls too! We used brighter colors when we repainted my Mom’s tornado-wrecked house. I love intense color and multi-color in art. Oh and I totally agree that we get to make up our own words! People always do that anyway, so why not join in!

  3. Debbie, I LOVE your fireplace mosaics! Will you do the whole fireplace, or keep it only on the mantel? And guess what. Even if you do decide to sell you house, the new owners can always repaint if they don’t enjoy the colors.

  4. Linda

    Just lit my stove for only the 2nd time this winter. The fireplace looks good. I lived in a home that had a full upper wall done in the kitchen and I loved it. Hated leaving that house.

    1. I just found you on Pinterest! I could tell I had the right Luanne by your WordPress site. Mine should have a link my blog on it too. It looks like you have some really cool boards! I’ll have to peruse through them 😀

  5. jarilissima

    Those come out so pretty, it would be hard for me NOT to want a house that has them!

    But I also wonder if it’s a cultural thing? Hispanic homes tend to lean more towards colorful (at least from what I’ve seen in my friends/family) and from what I’ve seen in Korean vlogs, everything is fashionably white.

    I just couldn’t do them myself because I’d be afraid I might mess up 😏 But they’re really pretty, I like them!

    1. Thanks Yari! I’m sure you could do mosaics. I started out working with broken pottery pieces and gradually wanted to find out if I could do the smaller mosaic tiles and stained glass. Plus you can’t mess up too badly because you can always change your design mid stream if you have to!😂People will just think that’s how it was supposed to be. 👍

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