Let’s Make Cents — Challenge # 12
NOTCOT’s story raced across the blogosphere like wildfire. You see, the folks at The Standard Grill in New York’s Standard Hotel covered their floor with a mosaic of thousands of pennies. It’s just not a common sight.
I decided that rather than a straight report on The Standard’s floor, instead we should use it for inspiration for our next Challenge. Heck, we can cover things in pennies, right? It’s got to be cheaper than some mosaic materials.
I wasn’t in a position to penny tile an entire floor (at least not right now), so after some hunting I decided to cover a simple, espresso-stained, wood serving tray. It reminded me of the dark-colored grout in the grill photos. It was a manageable size, sturdy, and it had four sides that would neatly contain the grout.
A few notes about what I did. After staring at the adhesives rack at the hardware store for something that would adhere metal to wood, I chose a silicon adhesive. I also bought the darkest grout I could find, a charcoal grey.
I got $7.00 in pennies. I used just under $3.00 worth; for contrast with the tray I chose only a range of the shinier and not the dark, discolored pennies.
I worked in well-ventilated area and wore safety glasses and vinyl gloves. I adhered the pennies one-by-one with a small daub of adhesive on the “tail” side. I first worked along one short edge. After I finished a few rows, I moved to one of the long edges. The adhesive gave me some working time so I could adjust to get the spacing between pennies for these first rows just right.
I let the adhesive dry for 24 hours before grouting. You know what? It was fun, like a grownup playing with mud pies. I plan to seal the grout, but need to wait until it dries for 48 hours.
So that’s my penny mosaic tray. I’m thrilled with the result (and I love how the cobalt glassware reflects the pennies—see the top photo). In homage to the quilter’s tradition of a “God square” (one imperfectly set patch) I put a single penny tail side up—see if you can find it.
I will definitely do this again and maybe on a (small) floor some day!
That’s your inspiration. This week’s Challenge: Cover an object for your home in a penny-mosaic. It could be a tray like mine, a photo frame, an accent table top, you name it. Go small or go big, whatever makes cents to you (couldn’t help myself).
And now that you’ve got grout under your fingernails, you’ll need the inspirational book, Mosaic Art and Style: Designs for Living Environments by JoAnn Locktov. Everyone who enters the Let’s Make Cents Challenge gets one chance in a random drawing to win this wonderful book that profiles many modern mosaic artisans, and shows with colorful photographs their contemporary mosaic art for your home.