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Video Librarian: (3 out of 4 stars) Presenter Sharyn Pak Withers demonstrates five projects aimed at crafters interested in learning the ancient art of mosaics. We’re not talking about giant floor designs featuring Greek gods, of course, but rather small projects such as coasters, a memento box, a vase, a picture frame, and a house number sign—all of which are within the realm of the possible for beginners. Withers points out what supplies are needed for each project­—which vary, depending on whether the crafter is using ceramic tile, metallic glass tile, colored glass pebbles, polished stones, or shells—before embarking on methodical step-by-step demonstrations, cautioning patience at the outset, since these pieces require hours to dry between stages (also, because working with broken pottery and glass can be hazardous, Withers emphasizes wearing protective gear). Combining good close-ups and multiple camera angles, Mosaic Basics would make a fine addition to public library craft collections. Recommended.

Arts & Activities: With this presentation, On Air Video presents a very detailed DVD about creating Mosaic projects. Five projects are presented and explained, including decorating a vase, a frame, a memento box, coasters and making a house number sign. This video is designed in such a manner that after watching the introduction, one can skip to any of the projects as the explanation about each project is self-contained and complete.
      The video begins with a thorough introduction and overview that includes explanations about both the materials and tools needed to work in the mosaic medium. There is a brief discussion about the history of mosaics and a discussion about designs including patterns appropriate for the projects. Safety tips are also included in this first segment of the video. 
    Each project is presented in a start to finish manner, including what materials are required for each project and how to do the prep work. Once the viewer gets the idea there are only subtle difference with each project.
      The various projects use different materials, including tiles of clay and glass, stones and shells, which adds variety to the process. The explanation about designs, some more challenging than others, also adds to the continued interest in each project.
​       This video would be extremely helpful for the individual crafter setting out to learn about working on mosaic projects. Giving a classroom of students the opportunity to work in mosaics requires large amounts of materials, which are not inexpensive, and a mature group of students who would be capable of working independently.

Library Journal: Sharyn Pak and her team have produced a first-rate how-to video. Starting with an introduction to the tools and materials (with advice on safety), Pak launches into creating a coaster, which incorporates the basics of designing and creating mosaics: cutting a wood base, waterproofing it, planning a design, grouting, sealing, and backing the piece. Each step is carefully illustrated, with good close-ups and clear instruction. Pak’s second project, a round lidded box, repeats the steps but includes additional skills. The remaining projects (a decorated frame, a vase, and exterior house numbers) build on the initial techniques while increasing the complexity and incorporating new materials. Making a mosaic is messy but requires little in the way of specialized tools and appears to be a craft accessible to teenagers and adults alike, with many outlets for creativity. This program is highly recommended for schools and public libraries.

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Mosaic Basics: 5 Great Projects 

5000 years ago, artisans in the Middle East began using semi-precious stones, shells, terra-cotta and gold to decorate furniture, tools and architecture. Today, mosaics continues to engage craftspersons with new materials, tools and applications.
​  In this program craft expert, Sharyn Pak will introduce you to the art of mosaics. Through these 5 featured projects you’ll learn the process of creating mosaics, discover traditional and contemporary materials, and various techniques for creating beautiful and useful objects.

Host: Sharyn Pak Withers                    
Running time: 120 minutes   
Price: $14.95
UPC#: 881303000184