Stone Mosaics In A Patio

My dog and a mosaic heart

We recently built a small patio of dimensional bluestone adjacent to a newly renovated home in downtown Weaverville. A seating wall wraps two sides of the patio and frames the space. I collaborated with the family on designing four small mosaics to be nestled into the patio itself. The patio is made up of 24″ by 24″ pieces of bluestone (people who work with bluestone will snicker; they are never quite 24″. Or close to square.) I cut six inch squares out of the center of four stones, to lay these mosaics.

These sketches inspired my mosaic designs for this patio


The family developed the concept. Their daughters, ages 4 and 8 led the way. The concepts were Kindness, Honesty, Intention, and Explore. They gave me some drawings and I revised them into forms that I thought could work in stone. Small mosaics can become illegible- and hard to execute- if there’s too much going on. They gave me good ideas and I think the translation works well.

Four small mosaics in process for a patio project in Weaverville.


These are the four designs while I was working on them; they’re not grouted in this picture. I like the bold colors and simple graphic compositions.

A small stone mosaic of a tree’s heartwood installed into an outdoor patio.


This was the design I had the most concerns about going in. It’s their vision of Intention; the heartwood of a tree. I wasn’t sure if it would read, particularly in comparison to the very clear images of things like a heart or the planet Earth. But I love the way the colors work together. The green slate is smooth but not shiny. The tree bark is sandstone from Tennessee, a material we use all the time for patios and walls. I forget the name of the stone I used for the wood grain. It’s remarkably beautiful though, even if I could not find a concentric ring pattern to more closely echo the heartwood. The stone itself is super thin; it is adhered onto ceramic tile.