Creating a Mosaic Garden Stake

Creating a Mosaic Garden Stake

Part of Ep. 1902 Bees, Trees, & Pears Please

There's an easy way to make your garden beautiful.  Put a mosaic garden stake out where the sun will shine right through it.  You don't have to water it or even fertilize it.  We'll take a trip to the Vinery and learn how to make one of our own.

Premiere date: Apr 27, 2011

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley Ryan:
You don’t have to plant flowers to make your garden beautiful.  I’m at The Vinery in Madison to learn how to create a piece of art to make your garden beautiful.  I’m with the owner, Denny Berkery.  Denny, I see you’re very busy at the Garden Expo every year, teaching a lot of classes.  I’ve been looking through your schedule.  You do stained glass.  You do glass fusing and mosaics, like this.  Let’s talk about some of the stuff that we’ve got in front of us, here. 

Denny Berkery:
Most everything we have out here are mosaics.  This one right in front of me is probably our favorite.  It’s a mosaic bowling ball.  That, and along beside it, an address stone, are two pieces that will never blow away in the wind. 

Shelley Ryan:
One is beautiful and one is practical.  I like both of them.  But my favorite has to be the whimsical one with the coffee cup.  This is great.  I never thought of using ceramics like this, anything like this. 

Denny Berkery:
Sure, mugs, plates, old china.  It all works and allows you to create a beautiful piece. 

Shelley Ryan:
I like breaking dishes!  What are we going to do today? 

Denny Berkery:
We have a project laid out over here.  This is going to be a garden stake. 

Shelley Ryan:
We’re going to start out with clear glass. 

Denny Berkery:
This is a glass mosaic. 

Shelley Ryan:
The materials we’re going to use are things like?  This is beautiful.  This is art glass.  Again, can we use found objects on this? 

Denny Berkery:
You can.  We just happen to have a few laid out here.  We have some shells that work nicely.  These are glass globs. 

Shelley Ryan:
That’s really what they’re called? 

Denny Berkery:
Glass globs, honest.  This is like a beach glass, or sea glass. 

Shelley Ryan:
Wow, okay.  Again, pottery, plates, things like that, too. 

Denny Berkery:
You bet.  The more the merrier. 

Shelley Ryan:
Fun, okay. 

Denny Berkery:
Let’s just jump right into this.  We have our first piece here.  What we’re going to do is we’re going to use an adhesive, which is called Weldbond. 

Shelley Ryan:
I don’t mean to jump in, but do I need a kiln or any special equipment? 

Denny Berkery:
Nope, just one tool I happen to have laying here.  This is called a mosaic nipper. 

Shelley Ryan:
That’s it? 

Denny Berkery:
It has two carbide wheels that pinches the glass and breaks it into smaller pieces. 

Shelley Ryan:
I’ll let you handle it. 

Denny Berkery:
All right, I’ll show you how to use those in a second.  We’re going to use this product, Weldbond, and we’re going to glue our glass right to the glass blank that we have. 

Shelley Ryan:
Okay. 

Denny Berkery:
With these mosaic nippers, the way they work, you just kind of squeeze. 

Shelley Ryan:
Now, you’ve got glasses on.  If I were doing this, should I have safety glasses? 

Denny Berkery:
You should always have a pair of safety glasses, because chips do fly.  When we use these, we’re going to get down into smaller pieces.  They’ll become more useable. 

Shelley Ryan:
Wow, okay. 

Denny Berkery:
Down to tiny little pieces like that. 

Shelley Ryan:
You’ve got a whole bunch all set up and ready to go. 

Denny Berkery:
I do.  We’re going to use this Weldbond here.  Apply a little bit to a piece of glass. 

Shelley Ryan:
Is this like epoxy and harden up real quick? 

Denny Berkery:
It’s a white glue.  It gets tacky in about 30 minutes. 

Shelley Ryan:
Okay. 

Denny Berkery:
It will fully set in 24. 

Shelley Ryan:
You have time to manipulate. 

Denny Berkery:
I do.  The beauty of this is I don’t have to be very careful how I apply it, because it will dry as a clear. 

Shelley Ryan:
As clear, okay. 

Denny Berkery:
You’ll never see the extra that’s laid out there. 

Shelley Ryan:
With 30 minutes, you have time to move things around and be creative. 

Denny Berkery:
Exactly, you just kind of put it together any way that I might like. 

Shelley Ryan:
Are you working with a pattern? 

Denny Berkery:
I am.  I have a couple patterns here, set off to the side.  I might mention though, that a pattern works well as a guide, but you certainly don’t need a pattern.  You could do a random piece.  Sometimes, those appear even more interesting than the ones with a pre-planned pattern. 

Shelley Ryan:
So you can go crazy, okay.  This, you said, has to dry for 24 hours. 

Denny Berkery:
Yes. 

Shelley Ryan:
This is one that’s all ready.  I can touch it now? 

Denny Berkery:
Yes, it’s all ready to go.  This isn’t done though. 

Denny Berkery:
No, the next step would be to add a grout.  Our third piece here, this is a finished piece.  It has a grout between the glass.  I just happen to have a bucket of grout mixed up. 

Shelley Ryan:
This is grout, like we’d use in the bathroom. 

Denny Berkery:
It’s a sanded grout. 

Shelley Ryan:
Sanded grout, that’s important. 

Denny Berkery:
What we’re doing, we’re just going to apply it to the surface. 

Shelley Ryan:
Right over the pretty glass? 

Denny Berkery:
It’s a little hard for people to accept, but I guarantee we’ll get it all off the surface of the glass when we’re done. 

Shelley Ryan:
Okay. 

Denny Berkery:
I might mention, there are different colors of grout, also. 

Shelley Ryan:
So you can pick something to complement your piece of art. 

Denny Berkery:
Yeah, your colors of glass.  Put it on like that.  Let it dry for about ten minutes. 

Shelley Ryan:
Okay, the point is to get it in the spaces between the glass. 

Denny Berkery:
In between the glass. 

Shelley Ryan:
Okay. 

Denny Berkery:
Then we’ll take a damp sponge and we’ll wipe off the surface, after about ten minutes. 

Shelley Ryan:
Okay. 

Denny Berkery:
That will take it off the surface of the glass.  Then it’s pretty much done. 

Shelley Ryan:
Hand me this one, because that’s the finished piece.  This is what it looks like after ten minutes, and you’ve wiped off the surface. 

Denny Berkery:
Exactly. 

Shelley Ryan:
It’s beautiful.  Now I can put it outside? 

Denny Berkery:
I have one last step. 

Shelley Ryan:
Okay. 

Denny Berkery:
That’s to apply Amorcrete, which is a sealant.  That seals the grout and keeps it from discoloring, and also keeps the moisture from penetrating to the adhesive. 

Shelley Ryan:
This would all fall apart without the sealant, if you left it outside. 

Denny Berkery:
It could very well, yes. 

Shelley Ryan:
You’ve got a reason to apply a sealant right over here, don’t you? 

Denny Berkery:
This sample here of a bird house. 

Shelley Ryan:
It’s beautiful. 

Denny Berkery:
It’s made out of wood, so it’s very important to have our grout sealed.  We don’t want the moisture penetrating the wood.  That causes the glass to actually come right off the wood. 

Shelley Ryan:
I tried to mosaic a gourd and all the pieces fell off in about four months, because I didn’t seal it. 

Denny Berkery:
Should have had some sealant. 

Shelley Ryan:
Well, I didn’t take the class, did I? 

Denny Berkery:
Well, we happen to have a piece here. 

Shelley Ryan:
This is the finished piece. 

Denny Berkery:
You can kind of see how the light is passing through.  That’s where the beauty of the glass really shines. 

Shelley Ryan:
This is fun.  I’m going to have to take a class.  We’ll have more information about your classes on our website, Denny. 

Denny Berkery:
Great, thanks. 

Shelley Ryan:
Thank you. 

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