The completed mandala of broken tiles.

I’ve wanted to make a permanent mandala with cement and grout for a long time.  Last week while hiking I came across a decidedly ugly pile of broken tiles along side the beautiful river.  I put as many as I could carry into my backpack and headed home.

The opportunity to put them to use in a meeting place farm house soon came about.  How do you do a mosaic tile mandala?

Real simple.  You lay a one centimetre layer of concrete the size of a dinner plate.  You poke in the tiles, starting from the centre and establishing the core pattern of your mandala.  The tiles can stick out a bit, because later you will cover the entire thing in tile grout.  The, you add ring after ring of 1 cm concrete to your centre– adding tiles and pattern with each round.

A day or two after, you mix your tile grout and layer it on to fill all the spaces in between.  You can use a sponge or rag to aid the dispersion.  A few days later your mandala is dry and solid as a rock.  And that’s it!

Assembling the mandala with the village youth and councillor.

Those two lucky red tiles were the only ones of that colour we had– they made the centre!