Grout. Grout. Grout. I’m gearing up for a grouting session. Designing, choosing tesserae, gluing–all these are intriguing in and of themselves. Grouting is more of an act of faith. I usually collect several pieces and grout all at once because getting organized takes a good part of the time. Gloves, mask, acrylic admix, a container, a stirring implement, layers of blank newsprint that I can peel away one by one as the excess grout piles up. Each mosaic needs to be masked with painter’s tape to protect frames and backs. I cut up non-scratch scrubbies into 1 or 2 inch squares for helping the glass emerge from the grout, as well as get any blobs of glue on the surface of the tesserae.
Thinking about it probably takes more energy than actually getting started. Procrastination creeps in, subtle at first. “Well, I need to make a few more mosiacs that will need brown grout so I have several to do at once,” combined with the call of the glass. I’ve talked to quilters who have a similar challenge, and accumulate multiple quilt tops that all need basting and stitching, and some get handed down from generation to generation until someone finally picks up the thread.
Starting a mosaic is the moment of possibility. Grouting can feel like a test–will this turn out ok? And it also requires moving into the grout zone–a meditative state of mind. Once the admix meets the grout powder there is a limited amount of time of pliability before it cements. You grout in “real time”–and this requires being present in the moment. An hour is about as long as the grout remains workable.
I have grouted enough mosaics to know that the rewards are great in taking the grouting leap, but it’s still an awesome process. My husband is going to take pictures of my next grouting session. Stay tuned for the grout adventure!