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Monday, August 22, 2011

Mosaic and the Magic of Grout!

Some things that seem like they'd be the opposite of writing -- aren't. Like sleeping, or walking the dog, or sitting around with friends....

Your story can and will follow you there, tug on your sleeve, pretending it has come to buy the next round when really, it just wants to make sure you haven't forgotten it... for even a minute.

But mosaic is different. It uses a tunelessly humming, color / texture / messy / mud-play part of the brain that, at least for me, doesn't welcome words. And just as writing is pristine on the outside (human in chair, fingers tapping keys) while a rat's nest internally, tiling is all dust and sloppy glop and shattered stuff to the eye -- while the inside of the tiler is as sweet as a breeze.

And every step of the process is glorious.
1. Assemble things over time and sort them...
Satisfying already, right? Gathering objects, making little piles of buttons, stones, coins, toys, blue things, shiny things, round things, shells, tiles, bits of colored glass...
2. Smash them with a hammer (the appeal should be obvious.) 
3. Glue them to things. Tra la la. 
4. Smush muddy grout on it. *
5. Wait, but not too long.
6. Wipe away excess grout, revealing colors & shapes as you go -- like digging up buried treasure, or an archeological dig sped way way up.

* Ah Grout!  It takes disparate objects and unites them. Not in philosophy or lip-flapping theory but in reality. It embraces chips and jaggedy bits and cements them into one solid, smooth-faced, indivisible, immensely satisfying THING.
And it does so quickly, simply and without words!  If only more aspects of life could be grouted.



Carol Snow said...

I love this! It makes me want to do mosaics. Or ... have you do mosaics in my house.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! And what a great opportunity for mulling over plots and characters and settings while keeping your hands occupied. I wish I had the patience to do something like that. (and the non-carpal tunnel hands again.) Carol said it best, would love to have you create a mosaic in my house. ;-)