I was walking past a thrift store a month or so ago and saw a small side table with a ceramic mosaic top and a glass candle holder cemented into the mosaic pattern. I thought it was sort of cool, but figured I could do better. And I have a thing for recycled ceramics. Then I found a wooden table top round at the Goodwill of Bins and figured I’d go for it. A month later I have a total respect for dental hygienists and paleontologists.
I started with the usual broken ceramic bits (more of the work mug and honey moon bowl used in earlier projects, another bowl that my husband had before we were married) and added in a bunch of stuff that come from the Goodwill in vases. It looks like anytime they get random decorative junk of a certain sized (shells, beads, beach glass, tumbled rock, marbles, game pieces) they put them in semi-coherent collections in florists jars and sell them for five or six bucks a pop. So I had a few of these lying around and got another couple and filled in the design gradually.
When I added the grout I discovered that the grout lines are too wide and my clever idea of having highly heterogeneous composition made grouting a giant pain in the ass. I spent a lot of time scraping off grout, re-gluing pieces and re-grouting. And my kids got into it, which was sometimes helpful, sometimes not. The paleontological hygiene was picking through each crevice with a little pick, brushing it off and starting again. And unearthing some of the lower profile elements that got completely buried in grout.