Creating Mosaic Table Tops: An Interview with Heather New
Florida-based Mosaic and Stained Glass Artist Heather New recently spoke with us about how TEC Skill Set products have greatly enhanced the quality of her work and why they are her go-to products of choice.
Heather ran her own business as a caterer, but four years ago, she began exploring her passion for mosaic artwork and trying out her skills. Learn more about mosaic projects and artist Heather New by reading the below interview.
What inspired you to have a career in creating mosaic table tops?
I have always had a passion for art, but not until a few years ago did I really try my hand at making it something I could commit my time to. Having always enjoyed painting, knitting, and working with clay, I decided to use stained glass to create a mosaic piece, and that has since become my biggest passion.
I began my first mosaic on a wooden coffee table with a tub of scrap glass, and the end result was breathtaking. I had created a mosaic “Fairy Garden” table top that, to this day, is a fun and unique piece that I love because it really motivated me to begin my artistic career.
How do you design your mosaic pieces? Wherein lies your inspiration?
My creativity comes from within. Occasionally, I’ll do a quick online search and peruse images for fresh ideas, but for the most part, inspiration comes to me naturally and I run with it. Sometimes, clients come to me with something very specific in mind, in which case there is a little less room for exploration.
The piece itself will also inspire me. Every table, for example, has its own personality that dictates the direction I take the mosaic creation and that helps determine the theme.
Can you detail your process for us?
First, I choose what I am going to work on, such as a vintage window, upcycled antique table, or even upcycled pallet wood frames. I then decide on a theme to incorporate based on the personality of the piece. If the piece is a custom order, I ask the client for his or her input. Next, I get to work by hand cutting the stained glass, laying out the pieces, and glueing them down. Once the glue has set for at least 12-18 hours, I use TEC Skill Set premixed grout to fill in the gaps. The premixed grout is easy to use—all I have to do is open the pail, stir it by hand, and begin grouting. Lastly, after the grout has set for a full 24 hours, I gently clean the piece, and it’s then ready to be sold.
How did you come upon TEC Skill Set products? Why are they your go-to products?
I found the TEC Skill Set premixed grout products at the Lowes in Plant City, Florida. The store manager introduced me to them, and I have not looked back since. The grout works so much better than other products I have used in the past, is easy to clean up once dry, and really creates a nice, finished look.
Do you have any special considerations you take into account for table tops and outdoor mosaics?
The TEC Skill Set premixed grout products work great, whether I’m working on wood, metal, ceramic, or even glass. I have not experienced any problems, and I have used many of the grout color options and love them all.
Editors note: TEC Skill Set premixed grout can't be used in exterior environments.
How did you transition from hobbyist to commissioned artist?
The transition came from my self motivation. I was encouraged by the response from people in showing them my finished projects. I started by displaying my work at the local farmers markets, and then was even able to get into several art shows.
Today, I am fortunate to work from home, and I have an Etsy shop where I promote my pieces and where people can make orders. I continue to showcase my work locally, and am always available for commissioned pieces. Though I enjoy doing mosaic table tops, I also love doing any pieces that a client can envision. I also have a website: www.artbyheathernew.com.
Learn how to make mosaics like Heather by reading, “how to create a colorful mosaic table top for your backyard” and for more summer and backyard inspiration, visit our Pinterest page.