Cool Stuff for Mosaic Artists

How to Use Self-Adhesive Fiberglass Mesh

woman sticking tesserae to self adhesive mesh

A while back I wrote about my first experience with what is now QuikStik Mosaic Mesh and have some updates to add. Back then I was curious to see if it could replace the mesh I was using that did not have any adhesive at all to it and required me to adhere each piece to the mesh. I was anxious, as well, to see if the adhesive was strong enough to hold my tiles when picking it up and installing it vertically.

When my shipment arrived, I opened the box and pulled out the mesh and sure enough, it was sticky! So I did a little "mesh test" and cut a piece of mesh, applied different sized tile, glass, kismet, ceramic, etc., to the sticky side, pressing them down firmly. Then I lifted it. It worked! Gave it some shakes and they stayed on! I tried rounded large and small stones and they did not work. Now I know what tesserae I can use this mesh with.

Since, I have learned that tiles smaller than about 1/2" may not stick as well as larger tiles. The reason is there isn't as much surface to contact with the mesh. I also used it in a community art project that involved a large mosaic and about 50 elementary school students. Two big lessons from that are: 1) it saved an immense amount of time because the kids didn't have to glue tiles on and the teachers didn't have to clean glue off of everything, and 2) section patterns and the mesh that goes over them before you start.

Here are 3 easy steps to set up your fiberglass mesh with adhesive:

Step 1) Print out your pattern to full size, then tape it down to a clean surface that you can work over for a period of time. Another update is - If you forget to tape the pattern down, you will have to peel it off the back of the mesh and risk popping tiles.

Step 2) Cut your fiberglass mesh and position it over your pattern, sticky side up. This is the side you will be placing your tiles to, so it has to be sticky side up. You may choose to tape this down as well.

Step 3) Start laying your tiles on the mesh. Press firmly. When you are finished, trim away any excess mesh and you're ready to go.

That's how easy it is! Use it for vertical projects you want to create horizontally. Use it for creating small elements that go into a larger mural. Use it to wrap your 3-D sculpture, then apply thinset and place your tiles on…there are lots of options – just use your imagination.

So here's what you give up when working with this new mesh: you lose having to mix up thinset; you lose having to butter each piece and stick it to the mesh; you lose having to clean around your tiles to remove any excess thinset; and you lose having to clean up when you are finished using your adhesive. These are all things I am very happy to give up!!!

Here's what you gain using this mesh: time and money! You now have more time to create more mosaic art and you have money left over from not wasting it on as much thinset. So spend it on a new tool or tesserae for your mosaics! Go – now!


TAGGED WITH: self adhesive fiberglass mesh, fiberglass mesh, mosaic backer, mosaic base, mosaic surface

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