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Springtime on the Somerset Levels

My second “representational” landscape mosaic (see last post for the first) was inspired by the intensely bright yellow wild rape and the white cow parsley edging the road on my way to Somerset Crafts on the Avalon Marshes.


I made a sketch


I decided to make this indirect as my yellow stained glass was thinner in depth  than the other glass and ceramic tile I wanted to use, and I wanted it to have a level surface. There was also going to be a lot of small pieces and as I was working on cement board, the direct method with cement adhesive would be messy and fiddly. I started with the flower heads and filled in with the stems, not usually a method I would employ as “filling in” can be very tricky. But with this piece it didn’t matter if all the spaces were not filled as I wanted to use grout for the shadows in between.



When I had finished sticking the tile to the paper, I spread black cement adhesive on the top. Black, so that any showing through to the right side would blend in well with the black grout I would use.


I also spread adhesive evenly onto the board.


Then I brought the board to the work and tapped it down all over with a hammer .


Then I flipped the whole thing over.


Then I put a board on top of this and tapped again all over with a hammer to make sure the mosaic is bonded well to the adhesive.


At this point I went and had a cup of tea

…………………………………………………………….TEA BREAK……………………………………………………………….

but not long enough to let the adhesive set because I like to soak off the paper and check to see if I need to alter anything. This is where you see pieces you have laid upside down or ones that have tilted during the operation.


I am also able to gauge out adhesive that has risen above or over the tiles and leave some room for grout .


After leaving it to dry overnight I grout the mosaic.

I want grey at the top in the sky and gradually getting darker to black at the bottom to pick up those shadows amongst the grasses.


After cleaning , my grout isn’t quite as black as I want it, so I paint the bottom with black acrylic paint.


I leave this to dry before I scrape it off from the tiles.


And finally ….

Springtime on the Somerset Levels
Springtime on the Somerset Levels


This mosaic is 40mm x 30mm including the wood frame which is 18mm deep. It will soon be available to buy at Somerset Crafts gallery, Avalon Marshes Centre, Shapwick Road, Westhay, Nr. Glastonbury for £275, or contact me!

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  1. Hello Kate, I am looking at various mosaics Blogs as I am just about to launch mine. I really like your style of work and the way you draw the picture first. Beautiful work. Rosanna of Rosanna’s Mosaics.

  2. Hi Kate, I was a student of yours a long time ago. I always read your blog. Your work has gone from great to fantastic and I really like your style. I am quite amazed at how to get inspiration from nature and transform it into something really pleasing to the eye and the spirit. 😊

    1. Hello Cinzia, nice to hear from you again. I remember especially your beautiful smalti coaster you made at Ammerdown! I hope you are still making mosaics. Thank you for your encouraging comment, it is much appreciated. 🙂

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