MosaicBlues: February 2017 .entry-content { font-size:25px !important; }

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dirty Business

Once you have flipped a mosaic, you remove the model and the mesh if you used one and see your work for the first time. Covered with dried up glue...

That pesky white glue is covering most of your tesserae in a varnish-like translucent coat.

Blue Carole, just flipped.

The glue needs to go ! 

Easier said than done...

Over the years I've slaved over the damn glue ! I've tried many ways, spent many many hours in the shower, scrubbing with various metallic and plastic brushes and scouring pads. Which actually works well, but it could take me up to 5 hours to properly clean one piece, that is lots of time to spend in a shower ! 

I once even tried to use a different kind of glue. One that the Romans were using: a flour based glue. I thought that glue might be easier than the synthetic water soluble one I had been so far using.

And yes, flour glue is very easy to eliminate. It dissolves beautifully in water. Unfortunately, it is also edible and I paid dearly for this... 

As I had one night just completed my Miriam mosaic.

I found it ravaged the next morning... A hungry rodent had liked the taste of my glue... (The little bastard soon died on my studio's floor where I found him. He did not digest well the shards of glass ingested with the glue)

I repaired the damages and stayed away from edible glues afterwards...

Having reverted to my White Elmer's Glue, I tried various chemicals. Vinegar, Hypochloric acid, Caustic Soda (NaOH), Drano, and possibly a few more I do not remember. In a few cases I created colorful fumes and almost choked to death. The shower still remained my best and safest option...

Then I had one of my brilliant ideas and purchased a pressure washer. Used at the right angle, this thing did wonders, allowing me to clean a 16 Square foot piece in 1 1/2 hour. 

The pressure washer is basically fantastic with 3/4" or bigger tesserae. 

But if you work with smaller tesserae the water jet easily lifts some of them and sends them flying all over the place, and the time spent in repairs may offset the time saved by using the pressure washer.

For my 3/16" tesserae, I decided last fall to try hot water. I boiled a big pot of water, poured some on my mosaic and scrubbed with steel wool. The glue went away nice and clean ! It worked beautifully, and this is now how I clean up my pieces.

I have one other mode of operation I'd like to try one day, but for the time being I am very satisfied with my hot water...

Frederic Lecut is a French mosaicist.
In 1992 he made Alabama his home.
His Art is about inspiring People.

You can contact him either 
by phone at (334) 798 1639 or email at 

You can also subscribe to his


Monday, February 13, 2017

Carole's Eyes Series

Every morning begins with the animals, group hug with Tomoe and Itto.

Then we go together feed the chickens (the ones you hear in my videos) and pick up the eggs. 

As I have to walk through my studio to get to the chickens coops, I generally stop for a while to lay a few tesserae...

I'm presently working on an other pair of eyes. The same eyes, with variations, Variations on Carole's eyes !  I realized I like working on series; you take a design, a beautiful one, and then you create several pieces based on it to express different feelings, moods, or ideas. 


I completed the first Carole's Eyes last December, but it fell from its wall while I was gone and got damaged. This kind of stupid things happen, it was my fault. I am restoring her now, she will look just as good as before. She'll look great, the greatest ever, believe me...

Blue Carole, the second of this series, is almost complete, I still have to grout and frame her. She will be there by the end of the month...

And presently, I am working on 2 more variations. I played with colors, and added borders to them, the same kind of borders the Romans loved to use.  Why do you think I'm traveling all around the countries that were once part of the Roman Empire ?

This is Greek Carole Sepia. On the bench. I am building her reverse method like I do 98 % of my pieces. She is a mix of Opus Pixellatum and Opus Tessellatum. 

The frame is a very important enhancement for a painting. It attracts and focus the eyes of the amateur. Unfortunately you cannot frame a mosaic with a painting kind of frame. For the past 4 years I have been using 3/16" steel welded frames. They are an excellent way to structurally reinforce my mosaics, but aesthetically they bring nothing like a frame does to a painting. So I decided to follow the Masters by incorporating the frame in the mosaic itself !

Fish mosaic from Pompeii, 1st century AD

So here you have the model of Greek Carole Sepia...

And here is a Bluesier Carole. The original idea, it will be different. Opus Pixellatum allows me to improvise, and I am going to fully take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

This one will incorporate more vegetal patterns, Acanthus leaves, possibly  wisteria cascades...

I am currently experimenting with layered models. Instead of creating one very complicated model I create several of them and use them as layers, just like you can in a program create an image by combining several graphic layers. Some layers pixellatum, some tessellatum...

So you see, I am very inspired by modern technology to realize my pieces. 

  • The theme or subject is always shrouded in a mysterious aura !  What's behind the Eyes? What's behind the Mirror of the Soul ? What's behind the Scouts of the Heart ? 
  • The Aesthetic is enhanced by 2nd century AD border patterns and ,
  • Techniques based on 21st century graphic softwares allow for a dreamatic new type of mosaics. (Yes, "dreamatic", it's new, its great, it's dreamlike, it's dreamatic ! believe me...)

Frederic Lecut is a French mosaicist.
In 1992 he made Alabama his home.
His Art is about inspiring People.

You can contact him either 
by phone at (334) 798 1639 or email at 

You can also subscribe to his