My Fascination with Mosaicing Mannequins

So I began my mosaic journey and my art journey with a mannequin (See

This was quickly followed by other mannequins. I scoured local second hand shops and for possible forms, the more interesting the better. Slowly I built up quite a selection of mannequins. I moved away from looking at them in terms of an expression of a psychological representation of connection and began covering them simply as objects of joy and beauty. I had to learn to cut mosaics and deal with different thicknesses of tiles and learn about glues and grouts. Which glues were suitable for indoors and which were better for outdoor use as well as learning to prepare the base for application of the adhesives. It was quite a steep learning curve and I enjoyed every moment of it. Here are a few of my mannequins which I have since sold both in New Zealand and in Europe.

Working on three dimensional objects is a great way to hone your skills in mosaic art as you are having to pay constant attention to uneven surfaces, rounded corners and varying thicknesses of material. Below is a selection of mannequins covered in fine bone china and wall tile. Fine bone china immediately produces a more classical effect, whereas the wall tile produces a modern contemporary look. I have also used a variety of colored grouts to enhance the overall effect of color on the piece – white, black, pink and grey and sometimes a mixture of more than one colored grout.

Mixing grout colors is always tricky because the application of grout is a terribly messy business. If you’re using more than one grout color on a piece, ensure you start with the darker color first and cover each area with tape and plastic (once it has dried of course), before you apply the following color. This will ensure that you protect what you have just completed.  I will describe this process in more detail in a later post. Occasionally you may decide to forego grout altogether and this will produce a much stronger and richer effect. In truth that is my favorite form of mosaic (i.e. without grout) because the grout does not effect the strength of color of the materials you have chosen to use – but more about that in another post.


Mannequin by Sarah-Alice Miles
Mannequin by Sarah-Alice Miles, black wall tile with china plate.
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Mannequin by Sarah-Alice Miles
Sarah-Alice Miles standing outside her workshop in New Zealand
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Mannequin by Sarah-Alice Miles
Mosaics Sarah Dec 2009 006
Mannequin by Sarah Alice Miles


  1. Hi Sarah, I love your work- I find mosaics beautiful and these mannequins adorned with mosaics are just spectacular. Wow!
    Have you read a book called Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay? The protagonist is a mosaicist and every since I read that book I’ve loved mosaics.

    1. No I haven’t and thanks for your kind works. I’m still trying to sort the site out so it’ll change in the next little while. I will be sure to look up the suggested book – great recommendation. Cheers, Sarah.

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