Stairwell Mosaic

Finished in 2019.

Left Wall
Right wall and back wall of mosaic installation

The Space

Concrete cinder block on three walls.

Left Wall
Right Wall
Back wall and part of right wall

Materials and Application

I used broken dishes including cups, plates, and bowls as well as glass gems, whole plates, platters, and a number of handmade tiles from a potter who was getting rid of old stuff. I smashed things with a hammer, then used my stained glass tools to cut and break pieces to fit more precisely.

The design changed as I went. I drew on the concrete to give myself guidelines. I continually adjusted depending on what materials I had left.

Corner tree and chalk outlines (that totally changed).

Using Thinset I attached each mosaic piece to the concrete either by applying large swaths of it first then adding the individual pieces, or by applying it to the back of the individual pieces and sticking them on the wall.

Large swath of Thinset
Detail work
One section at a time
Work in progress

Grouting

Grouting took an incredible amount of time. The mosaic materials I used were not flat and each piece had to be attended to before the grout set.

Before Grouting, colors pop and you can see the rough surface

Finished

I’m very pleased with how it turned out. The colors and details are beautiful. It lightened up the space, adds interest and an artistic flare to the house. And, I learned a ton about working with my materials.

Corner Tree
Sunshine starburst

Details

The nuance is in the details. Each hand placed element is what makes this project fascinating and specially unique.

Mirror reflection side to side
More left wall details
Love the pattern and colors
Colors and shapes
Bottom of the stairs – left wall details
A large broken vase is the first part of the mosaic, contrasting nicely with the house color.
Left wall details
Perhaps my favorite detail, the handle of a coffee mug at the bottom of the stairs

Video of the Finished Installation

Here is the video I took of the finished work. It’s hard to get a good overall photograph because of the space. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Finished Mosaic Stairwell Installation