Do I cut all the tiles myself? For this job, no, the majority of the tile is in the same shape I received it. It's just been artfully arranged.
Do I know that the words are backwards? When I first lay out the design, because it is paper faced (meaning the part of the tile that will eventually be "up" is glued down onto paper) everything's backwards. This isn't a big deal until you have words. They have to be created backwards. The design is then flipped backside down into thinset/mud and, once the mud has cured, the paper facing is removed to reveal right reading words. (When I'm asked about this by guys who are clearly joking with me, I just tell them innocently that the client signed off on it so that's what I did.)
It's interesting to see and hear the reactions of people who have never seen this type of art done before. The process has so many steps that it's difficult to know when to take the time to explain everything, so mostly I ask if they'll be around for another week. If so they'll see how it all comes out. And in the meantime I try not to be overly inquisitive about what they're doing. I'm on a really tight deadline.