Mosaic Repair

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A couple weeks ago I repaired a small but integral portion of a large mosaic in Newaygo, Michigan. There were many considerations when accepting and deciding what to charge in restoring a central piece that has meaning and memories for many. You have to assess the amount of damage, the tiles and or ceramic pieces used, type and color of grout, travel and weather.

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The damaged area appeared small, but in probing the surrounding tiles found the disrepair to be much larger. I pulled everything loose off, taking pictures as I went then cleaned the background base.

Many blue tiles were missing and impossible to match because of availability and fading from the sun. The City Manager, Jon Schneider, had saved a handful of pieces, which was very helpful. There still were not enough of the blue to replace to the exact specs of the original artist, so I shortened the curve of blue below the fish ending short. Unless you had before and after pictures you would never know the difference and it did not defer from the overall experience of the artwork.

A full day after adhering the tiles it was time to grout. I mixed a small amount and spread a tiny spot to see color match. The color, Natural Gray, was way too dark, but I thought it might dry and fade. I waited, blew on it, and waited. In a panic, I drove to the local hardware to find they also had Natural Gray and White. This would not work. My husband was in Grand Rapids and picked up a couple lighter grays. We met in Sparta. In the end I had to mix the dark and light grays to get the correct color.

Cold and rain will hamper an outdoor repair, but I was lucky with warm Fall days and nights with little rain. This week would have been a problem as the weather has taken a turn.

I am pleased with the way it all turned out and am truly honored they chose me.

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