Making Mosaics

WHO KNEW?! Grout Turns Pink… Part 1

Back in the 3 M’s post, we touched on grout. Grout is the substance that goes in the spaces. It is what holds the tesserae in place. I buy the smallest bag of good quality grout at the local home improvement store. (gray/silver) GO OUTSIDE and pour it into a plastic tub with a snap-shut lid. Grout dust “hangs” in the air. Never let children or pets near grout!

When I first started, it was too scary to mix my own grout. So, I bought premade. The grout was just too thick and difficult to work with. Funny thing about courage…

About this time, several shows started showing how to mix your own grout for floor tile. They made it look so easy! Of course, I tried. Oh boy! It looked too runny… Then, it was too thick… Repeat, often…

Finally, after a large bucketful, I began.

Gloves were a must, but the thick reusable mustard-yellow ones just didn’t work for me. I needed more tactile connections with my mosaic. More tactile = more Zen. So, I switched.

The grocery store was closer than the home improvement store, so I bought a bag of 10 disposable gloves. Surely, 10 gloves would last a long time. And, I would figure out a way to recycle them…

Each hand had one glove. I started scooping out grout and rubbing it all over the mosaic, carefully pushing grout into the spaces. The feeling was incredible! This went on for some time, until I noticed the grout was starting to turn pink?! There were even some red streaks?! It was the most exhilarating experience! Most people might have questioned this turn of events, but not me. I was too busy enjoying the “Zen” of it all. Until…

I looked down at the mosaic and noticed something sticking up through the grout. It was part of my glove. Oh well, I would just wash my hands when I finished. Then…

Pricking pain began in my dominant hand. That seemed weird. Finally, I took a look. Uh oh! There were cuts all over my palm and fingers. We won’t go into the details, but it was a mess!

Yes, it all worked out. After cleaning up, bandages, more gloves…, I regrouted the mosaic. No one knew, but it’s a cautionary tale I often tell.

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