When you walk into your studio, bedroom, or wherever it is you have space to mosaic in, are you excited or are you overwhelmed with the mess? I think we can all agree that creating mosaics in an environment that lifts us up, inspires and excites us is the best place to create in. This may not be easy, but with a little organization and effort, it can be achieved and is worth it if it allows your creative juices to flow.
There are some basics you have to have. First, a designated area that you can keep set up is essential. If you have to constantly clean-up and then set-up every time, soon you won't be enthused to finish your project. Secondly, a well-lit area is vital - you have to be able to see what you are creating! Good ventilation is important as the adhesives and grouts we work with are dusty and have strong odors. You will also need to have access to water close by.
Next, you need an area that has flooring where you can easily sweep away your shards and other fragments that always end up on the floor. Furniture that is needed is a comfortable chair and table to work at. Make sure your chair is at the appropriate height so your elbows are on the same plane as the surface of your table and that you are not straining your back. A sturdy table helps, and it's better if you can place it so you have access to 3 sides of it. That can be done by either walking around three sides, or by rotating the table top on its base. Also, if you have the room, you will want to have a table high enough so you can stand and work. I enjoy getting up and standing to work quite a bit.
Storage is usually the biggest dilemma for many. We all collect so much stuff that will be perfect for that next mosaic but need a place to be stashed away. I've seen lots of shelving ideas and cubby-hole type organizers that are great for this. Pinterest is a great place to look for organizational ideas. Containers are mandatory. Clear is best so you can see what is inside each one. Being stackable helps as well. I label mine so I can know what's in them when they are up on a high shelf.
Remember safety and be sure to keep children and pets away from your workspace as much as possible. Always have your goggles and a dust mask handy on your table. And take care of you. Get up and stretch, walk around, and take breaks as needed. You need to do this frequently; so when you do it, set up your mosaic and step back and look at it. Critique what you've done and then you can make adjustments before your adhesives gets too hard.
So, go get organized, light up your space, make it a place you want to escape to and really enjoy creating mosaics!
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