Mosaics for beginners and improvers with Martin Cheek

Ref: SWE10087


Book now

Places available

About this course

Develop your creativity using different ceramic and glass tiles. You will learn techniques for laying, grouting and cutting tiles into tesserae.

Course Description

Develop your creativity in mosaic design using different ceramic and glass tiles. You will learn techniques for laying, grouting and cutting tiles into tesserae.

Learn about the wonderful craft of making mosaics and create a unique piece of art using colourful glass and ceramic tiles.

On the first evening the tutor will give a slide show showing the ancient production of Millefiori and Venetian smalti, as well as his own techniques for making glass fusions. He will illustrate this talk with examples of his own work.

You will design and make a mosaic, either A3: 30 x 42cm, 30 x 30 cm or A4: 30 x 21 cm in area. The size is limited to ensure you can complete your design by the end of the course.

The tutor will cover numerous techniques to help your understanding of mosaic design, with a focus on the direct mosaic technique used to create your design. This method allows you to see your design as you add the pieces. Grouting techniques are also covered.

The tutor will bring a great selection of materials to use. They will include Venetian and Mexican smalti, Millefiori, vitreous glass and ‘Cinca’ unglazed ceramic tesserae. He will also bring his hand made glass fusions, millefiori and murrini.

The course includes a lecture on Roman techniques, demonstrations and individual one to one tuition, ensuring you go home fully inspired and equipped to continue to make mosaics at home.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Please bring your inspiration and reference material with you. This could be a drawing of your own, an image taken from your favourite book or a greetings card, or even a piece of wrapping paper! Ideally this should be blown up to the same size as your chosen mosaic size.
  • It is essential that you bring one or ideally two design ideas for your mosaic. Your design should be simple and preferably in black and white. You can bring other reference materials with you for colours etc. Please bring two copies of each design if that is possible (or you can photocopy your design here).
  • A notebook /sketchbook, pencils and a digital camera (if available)
  • Pencils
  • Work clothes – preferably an apron
  • Enclosed toe footwear (essential)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • MDF Boards – the tutor will provide everything else for you to purchase in order to make your mosaic
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will provide mosaic materials – please pay him before the end of the course, by cash, cheque or Paypal.
  • Prices range from £18 per kg for unglazed ceramic tiles and for vitreous glass, to £35 per kg for Venetian Smalti glass, and it is therefore difficult to give a specific cost for a project.
  • N.B: 1kg of vitreous glass/unglazed ceramic tiles covers an area of A3 in size or 500g = A4 with no allowance for wastage. So, it is possible to make a small mosaic for as little as £9.
  • Smalti requires 17kg to cover 1sq metre – 1 sq foot = 2kg
  • Also available – millefiori £12 per 100g, the tutor's handmade infusions £20 per 100g.
  • (100g of fusions covers area approximately equal to a postcard.)
  • Please note: material prices constantly change so these prices are not guaranteed.


Martin Cheek

Martin Cheek has been making mosaics for over 30 years and is the author of seven best selling books on the subject. He hand makes every piece of fused glass for his mosaics, each batch sometimes requiring several firings in the kiln to get it right. There is always some mystery in what the glass will do in the metamorphic process of heat.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.