Monday, September 29, 2014

Cobblestone streets from around the world: LISBON, #Portugal


Going down, going up, in Lisbon, a city to pop into on a cloudy day with streets adorned with cobbles, a place that rings bells sounding like the sincere letters of its poet Fernando Pessoa. Letters that last in time just like those stones.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Mosaics of Thessaloniki, Greece (Guest post by Helen Miles)

Just a sample of the perfection and the sublimity
of the mosaics of Thessaloniki

Hallo everyone, It's been a while....

I hope you are all well, keeping calm and mosaicing on!

This post is special. It was written by the wonderful Helen Miles, a mosaic artist whom I deeply admire. Her blog is the perfect place for those who want to find out more about Greek mosaics not just from a theoretical point of view but also as far as the more technical aspects of mosaic making is concerned. I am personally inspired by this woman and I think you will too.

Oh and don't forget. If any of you wish to guest post here all you need to do is get in touch with me.

 M.

 *** 

 The Mosaics of Thessaloniki, Greece (by Helen Miles)

Istanbul, Ravenna, Gazientep, Rome, Aquilea, and Madaba are among some of the world’s great mosaic sites with collections which receive considerable recognition and streams of visitors. But hidden away in Thessaloniki, in Northern Greece, on walls, ceilings and floors, in museums and churches, are mosaics which deserve their own share of the international limelight.

A bustling port city in a crescent-shaped bay lined with neo-classical apartment buildings, Thessaloniki is the epitome of a smart modern metropolis, making it hard to conceive that it was once a crucial centre of the Eastern Roman empire and played a pivotal role during the Byzantine era as the second most important city after Constantinople.

Yet for those prepared to delve a little deeper, Thessaloniki’s mosaics which span from the 4th to the 14th centuries, tell the tale of the city’s earlier lives; of it’s grandeur and importance, of it’s trade links, military might, and strategic position as well as serving as the artistic expression of a former glory which can still be traced in its Roman ruins, Byzantine churches and museum displays. For the mosaic lover, there is plenty to keep you busy exploring the back-street churches (Thessaloniki is a World Heritage Site for its Byzantine monuments), taking time in the two main museums and peering over the outer walls of the Galerian palace in the city centre to check to see if you are lucky enough to be there at the time when the mosaics are exposed.

The mosaics of Thessaloniki are to be found in its scattered Byzantine churches, down back streets and set back from the boulevards, but their quieter, less dramatic beauty doesn’t mean that they are any the less worth seeing. Quite the contrary.

The only drawback is that you need to get an early start and be patient. The opening hours of the churches are often eccentric and usually close by 2pm so don’t be too disappointed if some you don’t find all of them open. The ones not to miss include the beautiful glass, gold and silver ceilings in the 4th century Rotunda, a soaring vault-like brick structure which was built as a mausoleum, converted into a church, and served time as a mosque. The intricate ceiling mosaic of saints and architectural facades is undergoing restoration and covered in scaffolding, but in the side recesses you can see birds and fruit set within geometric and twisting bands of tesserae.

The Rotunda mosaics are among the earliest mosaics in Thessaloniki but there are plenty more from other periods in the Byzantine era. There is the Church of Agia Sophia which has an exquisite mosaic dome dating from the 9th century showing the apostles surrounding an image of Christ ascending to heaven as well as other mosaics of Biblical themes. The Church of the Holy Apostles, once part of a monastery complex, has exceptionally fine mosaics which are compared to those of the Chora in Istanbul. Or there is the Church of the Acheiropiitos which has beautiful 5th century mosaics of garlands and urns interspersed with birds and fruit decorating the underside of the arches along the main aisle. Try not to miss the Church of Osios David, an unobtrusive 5th century building, which was probably originally a bath house. Over the alter, it has a mosaic of Christ ascending into heaven with fish bobbing along in the rivers of paradise at his feet and animals representing the four apostles in the corners, including a lion for Saint Mark with an uncanny resemblance to a Maurice Sendak wild thing.

The Church of St. Dimitrios, Thessaloniki’s patron saint, was largely destroyed by a fire which devastated large portions of the city in 1917, but some interesting mosaic panels have been preserved showing the saint with various city officials and one with two solemn children, tucked shyly in next to his robes. The city’s two museums, the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, conveniently next door to each other, also have plenty of mosaics in their collections which are well worth seeing ranging from floor mosaics featuring animals and plants from a destroyed 4th century church to mythological scenes taken from domestic buildings.

If your passion for mosaics is still not sated, then it’s worth making a trip out to Pella, which is a 1.5 hour drive from Thessaloniki. Pella, with its world famous pebble mosaics, is the birth place of Alexander the Great and the scenes depicted in these unusually intricate and delicate mosaics – the oldest of their kind – range from lion hunting scenes to one of a young Alexander riding on the back of a leopard.

 *** 

Thank you Helen!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Keep calm and #mosaic on apron now available in PINK and GREEN

http://www.cafepress.com/mosaicology.1359351553
http://www.cafepress.com/mosaicology.1359124090

A really short post to update you on what's new in the shop. The mosaic apron KEEP CALM AND MOSAIC ON in pink ...and green! If you click on the images you will be directed to the item at the shop. The apron costs $22.89.

Thank you to those who already bought this and other items. You, along with my readers, are the backbone of mosaicology.

Please keep spreading the news and...don't forget to check out mosaicology shop.

Grazie mille!!

Magda

Saturday, July 5, 2014

spinning inspiration


As I was translating something about San Francisco, I came across a mosaic mural which afterwards disappeared as I proceeded with my work. Then I thought why not find that mural again to post it here. It seemed really nice. But I found something way better. A mosaic pebble artist whose work is exquisite, rich, vibrant and happy. His name is Jeffrey Bales and here's where you can find more about him and his work.

The above mosaic step stone isn't in San Francisco but the garden pebble mosaic here below is and this is how I discovered this wonderful artist.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Goldfinger

mosaic work by Nirit Keren - taken from Pinterest

Nirit Keren is a mosaic artist who sets out to explore the medium in a way that is bold and very personal. I will give you one good reason why she is an inspiration to me: She's not superfluous. Eloquence and minimalism is the trend I am more inclined to be inspired by. Somethings are implied, not shown (off). Modesty is good when coupled with superb craftsmanship.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Let me go wild



Show some ethnic love and be versatile with this unusual pair of earrings. Wear these with anything. From plain and casual to chic. Tribal inspired, turquoise, lovely earth-sea blend and a peculiar "cherry on the top" addition in the middle. Actually it's red resin. By SimoneSutcliffe.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mosaics made in #Greece: PREVEZA

image credit
I couldn't believe the sweet and bright colours of this mosaic. After a long silence, I decided this is it. I will continue to post on mosaicology posting pictures of mosaics from the world. Pictures I hope you haven't seen or maybe have had the chance to glance upon once. Here's my trying to bring memories back. Or build new ones. This image is from Preveza in Greece.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Care for some roses?

Jane Davies is an intriguing mosaic artist. She recycles materials in a way that the result is full of colour, life and balance. See for yourself. This is her website: Jane Davies. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

intoxicate yourself.


I love this ring and how Simona Canino has managed to blend amethyst, mirror mosaic and smalti here. What else can I say other than PERFECT. And some info about the meaning of the word *amethyst* from Wikipedia:

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the Ancient Greek ἀ a- ("not") and μέθυστος methustos ("intoxicated"), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. 


Interesting, right?

To buy the ring click HERE.

Monday, February 17, 2014

girl with a pearl earring - #mosaic

image credit Jane Perkins - http://www.bluebowerbird.co.uk/info.htm

Here's one of my favourite paintings "remade" by Jane Perkins, an artist who makes mosaics using a variety of materials. What a gifted artist!