Pique assiette is an art that uses broken dishes to form decorative designs.
With the shards of a pretty dinner plate, you can create poetic-looking flowers
that bloom right on the terracotta flower pots of your balcony or terrace,
beautifully complementing your potted orange, olive, or fig trees.
The method we propose for creating a pique assiette mosaic is to glue the plate shards onto a piece of fabric first,
and then apply the fabric and shards to an object such as a flower pot.
The first step is break your plate or dish. Lay the plate, face down, on a cardboard-covered surface.
Cover it with a towel folded in two. At this point, you should put on some eye protection.
Then, use a hammer to smash the plate into small, relatively same-sized pieces - ideally, not much larger than a coin.
With a brush, sweep away dust and remove any fragments that are too small or that you do not want in your design.
Then, reassemble your plate, still face down, leaving enough space between the pieces for the grout.
Cut a piece of cloth, like an old sheet, that is a little larger than the reassembled plate.
Apply white glue all over the cloth and on the back of the plate pieces as well.
Lay the cloth over the plate pieces, glue against glue, and then press well with the towel to make sure the fabric adheres well to each piece.
Repeat these steps for as many plates as you need to go around the flower pot.
For the one pictured, three were used. You can use matching plates or different designs - whatever you like.
You can find old chipped china in flea markets or garage sales for next to nothing.
When your cloth-backed dishes are ready, glue the cloth to the flower pot. Let dry.
Prepare the grout you will use to fill in the spaces between the shards, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Grout the entire pot using a putty knife. Scrape off excess grout.
Let dry one or two hours, and then wipe off excess grout again with a damp sponge.
Let dry further and clean the shards with a damp cloth and a vinegar in which you have added a little water.
Tile grout for mosaics is available ready to use or as a powder to be mixed with water.
You can color the grout with universal colorants or pigments in powder form.
If you are going to leave your pot outdoors - on a terrace, for example,
like this one - you should mix a little mortar for outdoor use with the tile grout.
We colored the mixture with a little red ochre.