THE AYVALIK MOSAIC – finally in Ayvalik fourth week

Hello – be prepared for the unveiling!

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After48 hours of keeping the protective boards wet, one already fell off, revealing some beauty still lightly covered by thin paper
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remaining boards could easily be loosened from the top and hot water applied into the gap to soften the rest of the glue
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then with more hot water board and paper came off easily
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some of the glues used came off immediately with the paper, like in the very left of the picture, some stuck to the grout lines like rubber (middle)

With more  hot water, a scrub and the energy and enthusiasm of  Rifat Usta the remaining glue was removed.

The unveiling and cleaning of the wall took half a day of 3 people. The difficulty was to keep the surfaces wet and warm so the softened glue would not get cold  and dry and then stick to the tesserae again.

I am very satisfied by the result. Of course some tesserae came off.

IMG_6698I also left some deliberate gaps at the joints of the tiles for easy fitting. These we put back in one days work with liquidish tile cement which we squeezed into the cleaned holes and then stuck the prepared tesserae back..

Two days later, the figures for the floor were installed.

(Be prepared for more technical description.)

At this point I want to thank tiling master Yusuf and our foreman Rifat again for their patience to understand what I could only communicate in very limited vocabulary. They really took to the project and used their knowledge flexibly to adapt it to this very special task.

 

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I prepared the floor like this. The cardboard pieces simulate the figures. On the backing of the figures I head drawn the lines that you see here on the floor. This way the figures could be placed in line. It worked well for the installation. But it took me several sleepless nights to come up with this.

The installation of the floor pieces  went in similar steps then the wall.

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first I put sand into the grout lines. This time I did not fill them quite as much as on the wall pieces as I wanted more cement to enter the grout lines for more stability. In the end people will walk over the mosaic.
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then Yusuf added the tile cement (again mixed to the same color then the grout)
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after he added a layer of ordinary cement to add weight and press the tile cement into the grout lines (cement was mixed with a latex water solution )
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Then he spread tile cement on the floor exactly inside the outline of the figure on the floor
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turning the heavy and wobbly piece of mosaic upside down onto the slap was a bit tricky. But after 2 figures we became skilled!
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and the soft cover allowed to take the mosaic partially up and add more cement because the floor had to be leveled to allow for the water to run into the drain in the corner
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first piece set
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after 3 hours it looked like this. If you zoom in you can see the lines on the backing of the pieces in line with the lines on the floor

Today I had a rest to let the cement dry. At 4pm I wetted the pieces well with water, covered them with cloth and covered this again with a plastic sheet in order not to dry out over night.

It is raining heavily at the moment. This will help to keep them moist. Tomorrow afternoon I am planning to remove the protective sheets with my family.  You will read about it in the next blog.

I have been in Ayvalik on my own for 4 weeks now. Which was good in order to fully concentrate on finishing the building site and installing the mosaic.

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But there have been nights when I looked at the moon and was longing for the company of my loved ones.

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