The dining set is decorated with a carved Asian design with red/cranberry and green accents. The table had four decorated panels in it, as illustrated at right. The chairs have a variation of the Chinese Shou symbol—symbolizing longevity—on the inside backs, as shown below right.
The four decorative panels swelled badly from the water and had to be removed from the table. The table, chairs, and buffet have water spots, but the clients believe they can be removed. They contacted me for consultation on the possibility of mosaic panels to replace the wooden ones.
The panels are each 16” h x 29” wide and 5/8” thick. One of the challenges will be achieving an exact 5/8” thickness. Another challenge is that the wife wants to do as much of the work as possible, and she has never made a mosaic before. It is this second challenge that helped give me a starting point.
I immediately thought about the beautiful metallic streaky Brilliance line of vitreous tile from WitsEnd Mosaic. These tiles are elegant enough for a dining table, I think, and would be relatively easy to work with for a novice. I showed the clients the full sample range of these tiles and they liked them very much and thought they might work for this project. They chose the dark cranberry (#267) as it matched the accents on the original panels and buffet. In these images, the color may look more a brick red, but it is definitely more of a cranberry.
The client entertained the idea of repeating either the symbol or elements of the original design on the mosaic panels. I did not feel the original design was feasible. However, the idea of using the symbol was more feasible and would allow for me to do the symbols and let her fill in the rest with whole tiles. This was the basis for my mock-up.