Before long, we’ll see evidence of Christi Hart’s dazzling mosaic art at every turn in Del Ray. That’s my hope anyway. I first saw her work when we met to discuss a mosaic project for our daughters’ elementary school. We met at Rustico Restaurant, one of the restaurants Christi and her husband co-own as part of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group in Del Ray, so we could examine her amazing mosaics in the space close up.
Christi worked with a designer to mosaic the entire circular fireplace in the center of the space. She made an extra effort sourcing tile for this gargantuan project (a diameter of about 20 feet). And was it ever worth it. She bought some of the solid main background tiles from Dale tile, Lowes, and Home Depot. “I also like to use tile, small objects, and glass mirror pieces,” she says. Then, she asked for donations for the rest. “It is amazing what people have in their basement or garage.”
Christi tiled the bathrooms in Rustico from floor to ceiling as well.
Outside, she made individual panels on backer board and had them hung securely to the fence. The panels display a bottle of champagne in the mist of popping and the effect is spectacular.
This is the design inspiration we used at the school too. Some day we may put mosaics along the playground fence line or make a walking path. The immediate project has graduating fifth graders working on panels, each with a standalone nature-themed design that, put together, look cohesive and arresting.
We followed the most basic method for making a mosaic.
- The students created two panels, by taking time during the usual art classes to glue down tiles using Welbond on precut backer board that I bought at Lowes.
- I bought assorted 1/2 inch glass tiles from Mosaic Art Supply. I had used their handy calculator to figure out how many to buy.
- Christi then worked with me and our daughters’ and their friends to apply the grout.
A parent volunteered to hang the mosaics in the playground. Over the years, we’ll add more panels.
Christi also helped the art teacher at Ramsey elementary school with a mosaic in the front hallway. “It was a crumbling wall that needed repair. The mosaic we made is fabulous and big,” she says. The art teacher drew different kids and she and Christi tiled it.
In Christi’s home, she’s done some truly stunning mosaic projects recently. Here are her stairs before she waved her magic mosaic wand.
And, the dazzling reveal.
She also added a mosaic backsplash in the kitchen.
Christi doesn’t repeat herself as you can see. That’s the fun of mosaic projects. You can find a variety of tile designs and colors and in glass, ceramic, or metal and with a little background knowledge about the materials to use and a willingness to experiment, you’re on your way to creating a personal and lasting work of art.
“The best part about doing a mosaics,” says Christi, “is ANYBODY can do it. I try to start off with a basic plan in my mind and let it evolve as the project takes shape. I always suggest to not think to hard about it….let it just happen.”
I asked Christi how long the projects typically take to finish. “Small projects move pretty fast. I can finish up in a day or two. I always let anything set for 24 hours before grouting. The larger projects can take several weeks.”
For a ton of information and an online resource for supplies, check out Mosaic Art Supply.