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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cold Weather

As I mostly work the Reverse Method, I use a water soluble glue to set my tesserae on their support. The mosaic is built upside down. when the piece complete I glue a support on it with a thinset mortar. Once the mortar has set, I flip the piece, remove the model and clean the glue before I can finish it. 

The Temperature inside the workshop is important. Here in Alabama, from April to October, we usually have nice and warm weather, and the glue sets quickly - in July or August, it sometimes just takes 2 hours.

However, right now, at the end of November, when it may freeze at night, it can take 2 days for the water to evaporate and the glue to set. I wish I had a nicely insulated workshop with central Heating, but I am not there yet. 

In the meantime, I purchased a cheap electrical heater, covered my mosaic with a big plastic box, and let run the heater for the night, at low temperature.

Total cost of this brilliant installation $40.00. 

In the morning, the mosaic is perfectly set, and ready to be worked on ! 

Beside that, the concrete will not set if it freezes, so do not use thinset or grout below 40 degrees (Fahrenheit). Anyway, at these temperatures, you finger become numb and it becomes difficult to work with a wet saw. Last Friday, it came to the point that I could not really grab the small pieces of glass I was grinding for one portrait I am presently working on. Some of these pieces are 1/8" thick, I grind them on a (cold) water lubricated diamond tool.

There is no point trying to work at something when your fingers can't properly grab things ! I put the lid on the mosaic, went back home and heated me a nice flask of SAKE.

Next morning, I resumed work !

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