This mosaic started with a poll over at Patchwork Chicken Studio‘s Facebook page asking which creature should be the subject of my next mosaic. The seahorse won. I decided to documented the steps of the process for this one though I almost forgot.
The seahorse is laser cut chipboard. It came from a collection of sea-themed designs I unearthed at my local craft store. I painted it with bright gold acrylic ink. It took two coats as chipboard accepts the ink different than wood or paper would.
While the seahorse’s paint cured, I stained the mosaic’s wood tray with a turquoise acrylic ink. I used the ink as a stain to give the tray a distressed weather/water worn appearance.
After the tray was dry, I edged the base in beads of the primary palette – “water”. Once the edges were dry, I traced out a coral design onto the bottom. Rainbow glass beads were used for the coral.
After the coral was dry, I applied my custom mix of glass seed beads to create the water. The mix consists of seeds beads in 14 different shades & styles of blue, green, and turquoise. Some are translucent, some opaque, some with cores of other colors, etc. to give depth and dimension to the “water”.
Real mini seashells were placed along the bottom edge while the water was being placed. The seashells are difficult to work with because their proportions and angles so they cannot be placed before the beads surrounding them go in. Everything must be done together which leads to the seashells sliding all over the place until they are forced into place by the other beads.
After the water and seashells were secure and dry, they received a coat of varnish. While the varnish was still wet, the gold seahorse was placed on top. I felt the seahorse needed something more so I added a flat back resin gem for its eye. The seahorse received a coat of varnish to seal it and fully attach it to the rest of the mosaic. Normally, a large design element like this would be placed first then the rest of the design and beads go around it but it was placed on top because of the cut outs in the design. I wanted the water and coral to peek through.
The mosaic was allowed to dry for a week before receiving its hanger.
Once the hanger was applied, the mosaic was taken outside to get its final varnish coat. It takes about two weeks for the final varnish to fully cure which means the scent is gone from it. Once it is applied and cured, it leaves a nice, sturdy, and glossy finish.
The final product can be found at https://www.patchworkchickenstudio.com/collections/bead-mosaics.
Which creature should I feature next? The scorpion? The Elephant? The Moose? The Owl? Some other creature?