I thought I'd post some pictures of the finishing work on the mosaic since I didn't get the opportunity to do so with the first one.
First step was to mix up a special glue which is water soluble but very tacky.
This glue is then spread on the mosaic very liberally.
I then laid a piece of canvas on top of the glue and put another layer of glue on. This acts as a temporary backing. It's important to leave ridges of canvas so that the canvas isn't stretched so tight that not all the tesserae are touching.
I left the glue to dry, a process which took 2 days. After it had dried the temporary frame was pulled off and I began picking out the clay that was holding the tesserae in place.
This picture shows the back of the mosaic with most of the clay removed.
Once the clay was removed, pieces of it still remained in the cracks between the tesserae. These then had to be picked out using a special pick...a job which fit Augustin perfectly :). He did a smashingly good job...so if you want your teeth cleaned let him know. The clay must be removed so the mortar adheres to the tesserae properly.
After the mosaic back was cleaned I spread a special mortar into a frame I had made earlier.
I also spread a layer of mortar directly onto the back of the mosaic.
A flip, and the mosaic was mounted securely in its frame.
After allowing it to dry somewhat, I sprayed the canvas with warm water which began dissolving the glue. As it dissolved I carefully peeled it away.
Carefully and slowly being the key words.
The finished product. Now all that remains is to let the mortar completely cure, and then I will sponge down the mosaic removing any remaining glue residue.