Glass Mosaic Tile Art: Important Safety Tips

Dec 3 07:45 2009 Bill Enslen Print This Article

When making mosaics, your safety is of paramount importance.  You must understand, observe, and apply common-sense safety practices when working with mosaics.

When making mosaics,Guest Posting your safety is of paramount importance.  You must understand, observe, and apply common-sense safety practices when working with mosaics.  It’s just good common sense to apply safety practices when working with sharp glass, caustic grout, finishing materials, and various glass cutting tools.  Never take shortcuts when safety is a concern.  The following are some basic--but important-- safety tips you should follow when making mosaics.

Wear eye protection when cutting or breaking materials for your tesserae, especially when working with glass.  Tiny shards can fly in multiple directions when cutting.  They can also bounce off nearby objects and fly into your eyes.  Eye protection is especially necessary when prying up tesserae to correct mistakes.  If the adhesive has cured, the tesserae material sometimes shatters instead of coming up clean when prying it away from the base material.  When it shatters, lots of tiny shards fly everywhere.  If you wear vision glasses, putting on a pair of goggles or protective glasses over them can be an annoyance, but don't skimp on safety.  Find a type of eye protection (i.e., goggles or safety glasses) that fit over your vision glasses and feel comfortable.  Once you get used to them, they'll no longer be a nuisance and your eyes will love you for taking safety seriously.

When using adhesives that emit harmful fumes (e.g., solvent-based adhesives), always work in a well-ventilated area.  Don't sit cooped up in your work space with an open container of solvent-based adhesive.  Open a window and use a fan, or better yet, do your adhering in an outdoor environment, such as an open and ventilated garage or porch.  Read and heed all safety warnings on the product label.

Wear a protective mask when mixing grout.  This is just as important as wearing eye protection.  Don't ignore it!  Grout is a cement product.  Cement hardens without air and in wet environments.  If you breathe in grout particles (i.e., the dust that clouds up when you pour dry grout from the bag into your mixing container), those particles will harden in your lungs.  Not good!  Protect yourself by wearing a dust mask.  They're cheap and you can get them at any thrift or home improvement store.  A 5-pack of white dust masks costs about two bucks, and a single mask can be used many times before clogging.  Two bucks is a small price to pay to protect your lungs.

Wear protective gloves when working with grout.  Cheap rubber or plastic gloves are adequate.  Grout is mildly caustic and can cause skin irritations.  A box of 200 of the plastic gloves typically used by food handlers costs about five bucks at the local bulk superstore.

Don't allow children or pets access to tesserae pieces, which can be cutting or choking hazards.  Teach children and train pets to stay away when you're working your mosaic magic.  If your child is creating the mosaic, always provide close supervision and don't leave them alone for a second.

When handling cut tesserae, especially glass, be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges or pointy points.

Follow proper safety precautions when making mosaics.  Don't dismiss the importance of never taking shortcuts with your safety.

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Bill Enslen
Bill Enslen

Bill Enslen has created glass mosaic art and mosaic table art for 30 years. His new ebook gives you step-by-step details for creating your own mosaic masterpieces. Visit his website and read the free sample chapters. Let him show you just how easy it is. With Bill's help, you can do it. Yes, you can! 

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