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Custom House Number Plaques: Mosaic on Slate with Style by Nutmeg Designs

Nutmeg Designs Mosaic House Number in Blue
Nutmeg Designs Mosaic House Number in Blue, glass on slate 12×8 inches(2011).

The response to our collaborative custom house numbers, which we premiered in November, has been fabulous!  I can tell by the way people gravitate to the sample sign that the combination of mosaic and slate is striking a chord with those who want something different to number their house.  It’s a pleasure to create something that acts as an identifier and badge of someone’s home.  As someone said to me, “It’s not numbers from a big box home improvement store.”

Stratoz and I were planning to make house number plaques, and not getting to it, and then our good friend Joanne encouraged us to make a sample one so people could see one incarnate.  We did the 960, which has been on tour with us to shows, and are grateful for Joanne’s push to create one.  The 477 was one of the first commissions, and went to someone from my former life as a librarian, and it’s nice to have him as a client once again!  I love how intense the blue turned out, and so did he.

Custom House Numbers by Nutmeg Designs
First Custom House Number by Nutmeg Designs

Our Process:

  • We work with the client to choose the colors that sing with their home.  Some send pictures of their homes, some know what colors they like.  Legibility is very important to us, and we advocate for high contrast, so the numbers pop.  We have a gallery of completed signs on Nutmeg Designs’ Flickr for inspiration. [Edited to add: Check our website for a Nutmeg Designs House Numbers Colorways Guide.]
  • Stratoz uses his design ability to make a drawing of the numbers for each commission, creating cutting lines, and relating the numbers to each other as a unit.  He cuts out the pattern, then the glass, grinds to the exact shape on his glass grinder, and hands the pieces over to me in the adjacent studio.
  • I use newly quarried Pennsylvania Slate, from just an hour up the road in Northampton, as the base with a coat of primer to let the maximum color shine from the glass.
  • After tracing the pattern onto the slate, I glue the pieces from Stratoz into their configuration, which involves some tweaking and adjustments, since there are multiple pieces, and they all relate to each other, and need to look like the numbers they represent!
  • Then the intricate work of mosaicking around the numbers begins, figuring out the flow of the shapes.  I use waterproof glue, because house numbers tend to be outside, or on the porch.  Finally, I grout with sanded grout, and seal for stain and water resistance.
  • We package it very carefully to send to its new home.

If you want even more coolness, like a rainbow border, we can talk custom prices.

Rainbow House Number in Process, by Margaret Almon and Wayne Stratz

I know I wanted a house number sign for myself, and made the 45 for the Nutmeg Designs abode!  If you also want one, you can use the contact form on the right, email me, or go to Nutmeg Designs Etsy.

Colorways Guide at Nutmeg Designs Website

Gallery of House Numbers on Flickr by Nutmeg Designs

A Custom House Number Inspired by Emily Carr and Totem Poles

Custom Mosaic House Number for a California Bungalow: Craftsman Home Love

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3 comments

  1. I’m glad you stopped by my Wordless Wednesday and commented! I love your mosaic work and have favorited you on Etsy.
    With the Japan tragedy all I feel like doing is sitting on a bench and gazing out at a peaceful scene! ; )

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