Mica Mosaic Jewelry Tutorial
Tumbled 1/8″ tempered glass
NO-Days Groutless Mosaic Adhesive (black)
Hot Plate or Mug Warmer
Step 1 – Painting the Tempered Glass
Begin with tumbled 1/8″ tempered glass chunks. The tumbling step is done in a rock tumbler with grit. This is an important step, the tumbling gives the glass a frosted texture that is excellent for mica painting. In addition, the edges of the tempered glass pieces are rounded and softened during tumbling so they aren’t sharp anymore. Make sure your tumbled glass is very clean, you’ll need about 1tsp of tumbled glass per mica color. In this case, we are doing all 8 colors.
Add the tempered glass to your mica paint, either in the paint pot, or a separate container. Shake to cover the glass completely.
Spread the glass pieces out on a piece of shelf paper and fire to a SLUMP temperature. This is hot enough to set the mica on the glass, but not hot enough to create frit balls. We want to keep the more angular shapes of the tempered glass. It is important to spread out the bits though, if they are touching, they can tack fuse together and make larger globs. After firing, wash excess mica off in alcohol and spread bits out to dry.
Step 3 – Creating the Jewelry
Cut the Groutless Mosaic Adhesive to fit into the pendant bezels. I’m using two very small bezels for earrings, and two larger ones for pendants. You can also use the clear adhesive for a completely different look.
Add painted glass pieces to the bezels as desired. I’m using the Ice Blue, Ice Red, Ice Green and Ice Purple in the square pieces, and the Gold, Copper, Pearl and Russet colors in the heart. Tweezers can be handy here.
Once you have the glass arranged to your taste, set the grout using a hot plate or mug warmer. I’m using a mug warmer, which is a tiny hot plate to keep your coffee warm. The mug warmer is an On/Off arrangement, so there is no temperature selection. If you are using a hot plate, make sure you select the temperature as per the No Daze Groutless Adhesive instructions.The pendants will get quite warm, and the adhesive will start to look more glossy as it melts. When the adhesive is melted and soft, press the glass gently down into the adhesive. I’m using the handle end of my tweezers as the glass is quite warm at this point.
Once the glass is firmly adhered, turn off the hot plate and remove pendants to a heat proof surface to cool. Use your tweezers for this too! The black adhesive changes the look of the glass and makes the color look more saturated.
Now, if you are so inclined, you can add jewelry findings and make complete jewelry pieces. This is a really fun activity for parties or make and take events, simply have the glass prepared ahead of time.