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The Theatre of Diamond Dreams

A mosaic artist had a glimmer of genius when he mixed a Laticrete UK product with diamond dust to create an image of Old Trafford. Renowned designer, and life- long Red Devils fan, David Arnott mixed the expensive particles with the brand’s Spectralock Pro Premium Grout to enhance the metal features on the picture of Manchester United’s famous ground.

Arnott, who grew up a stone’s throw from the stadium – and even had an impromptu street kickabout with former United stars David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, and Lee Sharpe as a youngster – was commissioned to create the piece by a private client. Arnott recalls a childhood memory of playing “lampy”, a game where a football was targeted at a lamp post, and three capped figures joining in. He said one of the guys “whacked the ball straight off the post” twice, from a distance. It wasn’t until David’s sister appeared from their house and shouted ‘That’s Beckham!’ that Arnott and his friends realised they had been having a kickabout with none other than Beckham, Sharpe, and Giggs. Arnott has used diamond dust with Spectralock on previous projects, including the world’s most expensive roulette table, which he made on behalf of designer Debbie Wingham; a chameleon design, a David Bowie piece, and for the pieces of jewellery on a portrait of a client’s wife. 

But these had only used a hint of diamond dust, whereas his football ground creation was “absolutely lathered in it,” says Arnott. A mosaic artist for 17 years, Arnott spent several weeks creating the Theatre of Dreams piece, says: “I hadn’t put massive amounts of diamond dust in some of my previous mosaics. But with this one, now it’s on the wall, it really catches your eye in the light.” “My client loved it. She had seen what I’d done previously with Debbie Wingham and asked: ‘Could you use quite a bit of diamond dust?’ “I told her it was quite expensive, but she said that was fine. It’s for her husband; they are both United fans.” 

Arnott used one tub of Spectralock and experimented by mixing different amounts of diamond dust with the grout until he got the desired consistency and shine. Championing the grout, Arnott says: “I would say Spectralock is the best grout that’s on the market. I’ve used many different grouts and nothing compares. The finish is great, especially working with mosaics, and I know it’s an epoxy but it just cleans up better.” The life-long United fan – who has also created a mosaic of rival Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium – says he received a fantastic response to the Old Trafford piece when he posted a picture of it on Instagram, and many other artists were asking about the products used, including Spectralock Pro Premium Grout. A patented, high performance epoxy grout, Spectralock Pro Premium Grout offers excellent colour uniformity, durability, stain protection, and beautiful, full grout joints in an easy-to-use, non-sag formula.

It is designed for use on ceramic tile, glass tile and stone applications, both residential and commercial. It can be used on both interior and exterior on floors and walls. Ideal for re-grouting applications, Spectralock Pro Premium Grout is perfect for swimming pools, fountains and other wet area applications. Charles Clapham, Managing Director of Liverpool-based Palace Chemicals, which manufactures Laticrete UK products, comments: “The finished piece is just stunning, and the diamond dust certainly adds ‘bling’. David is a fantastic ambassador for all of our products and we are proud to work with him.”

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