Designing Your Mosaic with Stained Glass
Now that you selected what you want to make, the next step is to deign it. Designing helps you specify your project, as well as to quantify and calculate the cost of the materials that you will need.
Depending on the scale of the project you may have to edit the image that you have chosen, the smaller the scale the less detail you can incorporate (unless you are doing micro mosaics and that’s something I can’t help you with). And also keep in mind that the fracture nature of the mosaic adds another element to the design.
First, study the image that you want, select what you think is the main motif of the image. For example, if it is a flower arrangement with leaves and 10 flowers, you may choose 3 flowers that have the most vibrant colors or because of their shape, and create the illusion of leaves using a mix of greens in the background.
Second, transfer the image to the surface that you are going to work on, do this by drawing; in case you don’t draw, transfer it by using carbon paper (blow up to size the image at a copy place). At this stage you will see what other element you can edit or move to make the image more workable.
Third, now is time to select the glass that you will need. Measure the surface so you know how many square inches you are going to need of glass, I usually add about 10% more to make sure I will have enough in case I make mistakes when I’m cutting it. (Trust me, it happens more often than what you think). Keep in mind that some stained glass retailers have a minimum on the quantity they can sale, especially, on the more expensive glass.
When I select the colors, I don’t go for the basic solid one color glass, I rather go for sheets that have at less two mixes. This way I can add different shades to the likes of flower petals or the sky, but also create a more interesting mix in the background. Then I do not have to buy several different shades to achieve similar results.
One last thing, when you go shopping for glass, try to focus on what you need, not in what you think you may want for future projects, it can turn into a very expensive hording experience.