Planning a pseudo-mosaic

I've been playing with this idea in my head for almost a year, and decided I probably want to go ahead and do it. The plan is to take a digital photograph of someone, run it through a crystallization filter in Photoshop, and either print it out on a large piece of paper or a transparency.

Paper option: Place the template under a pane of glass or a non-flexible, transparent sheet of plastic. With thick paint or small rock chips (I've seen bags in numerous colors in craft stores for dioramas and such, and the shapes they come in are good matches), color the plastic sheet to match the template underneath. If I use the rocks, I'm thinking of filling in the gaps with plaster or something opaque. Doubt I could use anything too viscous unless I wanted to lay it down first and then guess at the alignments. Ideally, I'd want to hide the glass or plastic completely.

Transparency option: Project the image directly onto an opaque surface. This would allow me to put down a layer of plaster or putty and press rocks directly into it with less chance of error.

Finalizing: Seal with transparent coat of some sort.

When I first thought about this, I went hunting for mosaic supplies. I found that they were definitely not what I want to use. The glass pieces I found for sale were all too large (yeah, I know you can break them), and prohibitively expensive for the number of colors I'd need. I'm aiming for an image with cells small and numerous enough that at a distance or with squinted eyes, it still looks highly detailed. I think the transparency option would be best, but I don't have access to one of those. I'm actually trying to figure out a place I could use to work on this, so that's another problem. It's not going to be a single day layout.

Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? If so, are there any glaring problems with my thought process here? I'd hate to get started and realize it was unworkable.

Sarah 16 years ago
You can rent transparency machines from libraries and occasionally rental shops have them.

This sight has a lot of information about mosaics and materials.

Good luck!
Vishanti 16 years ago