Out of my growing collection of mosaics to grout, I choose the red-orange mirror, and the green box. I masked both with green painters tape, and both will receive “chocolate truffle” grout. Painters tape usually comes off quite cleanly, even after a week or so, and makes an attractive edge. It’s quite magical to peel away the green, especially when everything is covered in grout. Grout is a a way to pull all the pieces together. In drawing class, the equivalent to the grout lines was “negative space.” The spaces in between have their own form and substance. Grouting is commitment. It is possible to use a dremel drill to grind the cementitious grout out, but this isn’t something I can fathom doing.
First, I pour acrylic admix into the bottom of a plastic container, about 1/2 inch deep. My admix has been renamed “grout enhancer” by the manufacturer, which sounds like steroids. It’s the consistency of milk. I add grout slowly, 1/2 cup to start, and then back and forth between grout, mix, liquid, mix. Once it is between cake batter and peanut butter in texture, I leave it sit for a minute or two to slake. Or as my first mosaic instructor said, until you’ve lost patience or said hello to your neighbor. Then mix again. This makes the grout stronger, letting it form a few bonds and then remixing.
There is a reason this one is called “chocolate.”