mosaic hearth by Nicky Perryman textile and mosaic artist

Mosaic Hearth Project

mosaic hearth in progress by Nicky Perryman textile and mosaic artist
Making the grout darker with a grout pen.

This mosaic hearth project was designed to be both decorative and practical. In one corner of the hearth, there were some quarry tiles which had been damaged by having heavy logs dumped on them. Digging out all of the quarry tiles wasn’t really an option so covering them seemed to be the best idea.

The design was a bit organic, happening as I went along. The leaf idea was really inspired by the garden and the feel of autumn.

I used glass tesserae, glass pebbles and glass coins. I restricted the colour palette to browns, creams and greys with a few amber pebbles. I wanted it to fit in with the dark colour of the woodburning stove and the round-nosed brick surround. I filled in the worst of the broken area of quarry tiles with some mortar to create a flatter surface to work on, then glued the tesserae directly on top. In hindsight, I would have used a thick layer of adhesive and created the mosaic on mesh then placed it on top to bed it in and hopefully get the same height all over. As it was, placed directly on, there are a few undulations here and there which caused a few uncomfortable transitions.

I grouted it with some Mapei Dove Grey Ultra Colour Plus grout. I immediately regretted doing it and decided to try to make the grout darker. So I bought a black grout pen and thankfully it worked well. Going over every little bit of pale grout was tedious and a bit messy as the tip of the pen wasn’t really fine enough to easily get into all the nooks and crannies. In the end, I needed two grout pens to finish the job effectively. Mental note to self: grout certainly can make or break a piece! Once I’d made the grout darker, I felt a whole lot better! Phew!


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Nicky Perryman

Hey, I'm a textile artist based in the UK. I like playing around with fabric paint, stitching both hand and machine embroidery and I have far too many sequins. I'm inspired by nature, its mysteries, subtleties, delights and complexities. The outer natural world has its counterpart in the inner spiritual world and I am also inspired by folklore, poetry, fairytales, stories of long ago when the spirits of nature seemed less shy than they do today, as well as my own shamanic journeys into the dreamland.

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