So you wanna step up to the plate and try your hand at making a mosaic from an old bowl that you just don’t care for anymore, eh? Just what makes you think you’re ready to play with the big boys of home crafts and art projects? Oh, really? So you think the fact that you can make a party invitation out of a Wal-Mart receipt, aspirin bottle cap, discarded tissue paper and a bullet used to scare away rowdy teens in Salt Lake City means you have what it takes to transform cookware into a mosaic, huh?
There is fun to be hand in destroying existing items to recycle into art. Just as George W. Bush, the man who single-handedly destroyed a budget surplus to turn into the work of art known as America’s Longest War. (I never tried to say that all art is beautiful.) There is definitely fun to be had in breaking up that china that your ex-husband gave you on hour fifth anniversary…two days after the actual date. But making a mosaic from existing items also carries a sense of danger. Don’t give into the danger.
A rubber mallet is good for breaking things into future pieces of a mosaic. If all you’ve got is a hammer, try to consider the consequences of breaking up a glass or saucer or plate with a hammer versus doing so with a rubber mallet. What I’m trying to say is that you really do need to invest in a rubber mallet if you intend to make your own mosaic art pieces. A rubber mallet will give you those irregularly shaped pieces that make mosaic art what it is. The hammer provides a more uniform type of breakage.
Smashing plates and ceramic bowls to pieces to be reconstituted into artistic expression is not something to be done without thought. You should place the piece of cookware you plan on smashing into a plastic bag that is placed atop towel that is placed atop a thin piece of plywood you won’t be using for aesthetic appeal. All that is left is, to paraphrase Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove, to smash it with a hammer.
The trick is really about how hard to hit it. The force with which you smash what will soon be pieces of your mosaic art is dependent upon what the object inside the bag is. China is going to be much easier to break apart than ceramic, but you want to have pieces that are large enough to work with. That means you will probably have to experiment and possibly waste a few items before you really get to know exactly what you are doing.
Don’t give up. Don’t hit too hard. Don’t be afraid to hit strike two or three times until you the pieces you want for the mosaic you make.