Glass Mosaic Tile Art: How to Make a Permanent Signature on Glass
Ever wonder how to sign your indoor glass mosaic art so the signature will not rub or wear off?† Nothing seems to stick permanently to glass.† Permanent marker is not permanent.† Acrylic and enamel paint rub, chip, or flake off.† So, how do you make a permanent signature on glass?
Ever wonder how to sign your indoor glass mosaic art so the signature won't rub or wear off?† Nothing seems to stick permanently to glass.† Permanent marker isn't permanent.† Acrylic and enamel paint rub, chip, or flake off.† Nothing works!
Until recently, I signed my indoor glass mosaics with enamel paint.† I covered the entire mosaic (except the signature) with old rags and towels, and then lightly sprayed on two light coats of clear acrylic sealer to protect the paint.† That method works okay, but it doesn't seem to be as permanent as my new idea.
I had an epiphany a while ago and I've been signing all my indoor glass mosaics with this method ever since.† Try it and see how it works for you.† Use this method only for indoor mosaics.† Do not use this method for outdoor mosaics or mosaics that will be displayed in a wet environment (e.g., a sauna or shower area).
CAUTION: Try this method on a piece of scrap glass before trying it on your mosaic art.† Trying it on scrap glass first will let you know if this is how you actually want to sign your mosaic art.† It will also give you practice before doing it on your mosaic art.
Using a fine-tip permanent marker, sign your name on the glass.† I usually put my signature on the bottom-right corner of my indoor mosaics.† Put yours where you like it best.† I find a piece of tessera big enough to hold my entire signature so I don't have to write on any grout lines.† If I have to write small to fit it on a single piece of tessera so I don't cross any grout lines, then I write small.
Lay your indoor mosaic art on a flat surface.† Do this so the wet glue won't run or drip.† If your mosaic is flat, the glue is thick enough so it stays where you apply it (i.e., it won't run or drip).† With your indoor mosaic lying flat, carefully apply plain white Elmer's Glue-All over your entire signature.† Don't touch the tip of the glue bottle to the signature or the ink might smudge.† Slowly squeeze out enough white Elmer's Glue-All to cover the entire signature.† (White Elmer's Glue-All is the stuff we all went to school with.† I can usually buy a big 7.625-oz bottle at Walmart for about $1.50.)
Allow the glue to thoroughly dry overnight.† White Elmerís Glue-All dries clear.† When wet, the glue doesn't absorb or blur the ink.† Instead, the ink stays intact and the signature looks good after the glue is dry and clear.† The glass color also shows through so the glue doesn't affect the mosaic's appearance.† The ink is entombed in the glue and the glue provides strong, permanent protection for my signature on my indoor mosaics.
Donít try to get cute by using a cotton swab or other tool to spread out the glue evenly.† While trying to spread out the wet glue, if you press just a hair too hard and touch the ink, it will smudge.† If you leave the ink alone, it wonít smudge or blur, but it will with the slightest touch.† Therefore, I suggest that you don't try to even out the glue lines.† Instead, hold the tip of the glue bottle close to the glass and carefully squeeze out the glue.† The edges will look a bit ragged (i.e., not perfectly straight and square with each other).† In my opinion, thatís okay, they don't need to be perfectly smooth, straight, and at perfect angles with each other.† When the glue is dry and clear, I don't notice the raggedness unless my nose is right up to the mosaic.
As noted, don't use this method for outdoor mosaics or for mosaics that will be displayed in a wet environment (e.g., a sauna or shower area).
This process is explained on my website for free with lots of pictures, so if you donít quite understand it, go to my website and look at the pictures.† Try this method on a piece of scrap glass and see if you like it. If you do, then you'll know a neat trick that allows you to sign your indoor mosaic art masterpieces and be comfortable that your signature won't rub or wear off over time.
Remember, making mosaic art is easy. You can do it.† Yes, you can!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Enslen has created lovely mosaic art for 30 years. His new eBook, Mosaic Pieces: Essentials for Beginner and Professional Mosaic Artists, gives you step-by-step details for creating your own mosaic masterpieces. Visit his website and read the free sample chapters at Glass Mosaic Tile Art.† Let him show you just how easy it is. With Bill's help, you can do it.† Yes, you can!