Monday, November 29, 2010

Bathing indulgence (mosaic bathtubs)

How about bathing in a bathtub in the form of a shoe decorated with mosaic (by SICIS) or...would you opt for the second solution, a lavish, glittering bathtub with gold mosaic tiles, a more feasible and orthodox functional artwork?

How absolutely lavish!

If only...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rock me amadeus: Amadeus Mozart mosaic portrait


What a surprising mosaic find !

Do I see a smile on your face for the play of words?

rock, rocks = stones for mosaics.

Let's remember the song from the 80s Rock me Amadeus by Falco. I had no idea he had died in a car accident in 1998 until I read it somewhere some time ago. Here I have found the occasion to show my admiration for this artist and his song through this mosaic and this superb 80s video.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Geisha like mosaic jacket


Faux mosaic tiles forming a circle at the back of this chic jacket. Wow!!!

What is stunning about this piece is not just the sculptured back with the little squares but also the embroidered border and surely the exquisite fabric suitable to sustain this type of decoration.

Reminds me of the Geisha dress.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sophia Loren as Cleopatra lying on a mosaic floor

LinkI was not planning to post anything today but this picture had to become part of Mosaicology blog.

If you love the 60s and all things glamour - true glamour - go visit the relevant post on Stirred, Straight Up, with a Twist.

You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cable knit and the mosaic guilloche pattern

I love the cable stitch. I think most people love it. Intricate, gives a wonderful texture on your knitwear, adding a polished and sophisticated note. Difficult to make of course.

As for the guilloche pattern you will see it everywhere in ancient mosaics. It acts as a border to emblemas and other figurative work and it highlights the entire mosaic because it is a powerful pattern considering not just the design but the blend and contrast of the colours used.

I have to confess I love knitting. Not more than mosaic of course. My heart beats for mosaic art more than ever at the moment but it is all a matter of SPACE and TIME. Until I figure these two aspects out, I am knitting some stuff. The great thing about knitting is that it does not require a workshop and special space-working conditions and the time scale is a whole different scenario. I knitted a scarf in 4 days. A mosaic needs a lot more time to be produced. Space-wise? The perfect place is the couch. With mosaic that is out of the question.

If you want to learn how to knit I suggest you go and see the video tutorials by Wool and the Gang and by Judy on Youtube. Also the dummies crafts guide is really good. I have links of everything on the right column of this blog.

The mosaics illustrated here are via the joy of shards where you can learn how to design the guilloche pattern as well as discovering more on mosaics and techinques. Go and see for yourself. They also have a fabulous gallery on ancient mosaics.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Under the sphere of...mosaic influence

Mosaic spheres by artist Felice Nittolo 

Nittolo is one of my favourite contemporary mosaic artists, a trendsetter, challenging, with a strong Ravenna education/school background which you can see from his work, yet with a strong inventive edge and fresh "from scratch" creative work which appears simple to conceive but in fact would require a perfect...almost perfect mosaic master to tackle it.

And there you have new masterpieces.

I wish I could have him as a teacher.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mosaic of the Three Wise Men - Ravenna and Constantinople Versions

Holiday season is approaching.

Is "giving" a lot wiser than receiving?
Is the act of giving pure and out of love, or just because we have to buy presents?

Just wondering....

This post is dedicated to two mosaic masterpieces.

Wise men mosaic in two versions. Ravenna and Constantinople respectively.

The first mosaic, stunning, eye catching, abundant with colours, featuring rich and intricate costumes, has balance and focuses on the wise men and their gifts. The movement is linear. There is the element of nature too and an almost tangible seducing aroma of the East.

The second mosaic has soft colours, upward movement, using few colours with virtuosity. It's dynamic. The men are in communication between each other and the "mystic" cloud on which they ride, if I "read" the picture properly, could well symbolise their worthy cause and destination.

The exotic elements in the Ravenna version show a desire to "depict" those things that were "far away" (the land where Christ was born). It is a very humble assumption based on observation that the enticing perfumes and glittering cases in the hands of the Ravenna wise men are something that was regarded "exotic" for those who lived in the West.
Two different "schools", two different "mentalities" on a common theme.

A great way to appreciate not only mosaic art but also understand the circumstances and social - geographical context of the work in question.

It is my wish to be able to produce a manual - guide on how to make mosaics via the learning from ancient mosaic masterpieces but I think it will be a far cry from my tangible non-exotic reality.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The most unusual location to find mosaics - Το πιό απίθανο μέρος να βρεις ψηφιδωτά

{ελληνική μετάφραση παρακάτω}

This is Plateia Tachidromeiou (Πλατεία Ταχυδρομείο in Greek=Post Office Square) in Larissa, a major town in Greece. Can you see the benches and the mosaic fragments positioned on the top? I have tried to find out about them. As no data has been made available to me, I can deduce that since Larissa is an ancient city with still lots of archeological evidence under the earth with only parts of the modern built town having undergone excavation, these mosaics - this is a guess - may have been found during excavations and placed there. The other scenario is that they are of a most modern past. But that would not explain why they are placed there and why they are fragmented. What strikes me is how well preserved they are.

If anybody from Greece knows anything, please let me know. 

Help me so that we unveil this mystery.

Take a good look. Some of the designs are really gorgeous.

Αυτή είναι η Πλατεία Ταχυδρομείου στην Λάρισα, μία σημαντική πόλη της Ελλάδας. Βλέπετε τα παγκάκια επάνω στα οποία έχουν τοποθετηθεί σπαράγματα ψηφιδωτών? Έχω προσπαθήσει να μάθω για αυτά. Αλλά αφού δεν έχω στην διάθεση μου στοιχεία, μπορώ να υποθέσω ότι αφού η Λάρισα είναι μία αρχαία πόλη με ακόμη πολλά αρχαιολογικά μνημεία βρισκόμενα κάτω από την μοντέρνα πόλη και που έχουν ανασκαφεί μόνο μερικώς - υποθέτω - ότι θα έχουν ανακαλυφθεί κατά την διάρκεια ανασκαφών και ότι θα έχουν τοποθετηθεί εκεί. Το άλλο σενάριο είναι ότι προέρχονται από το κοντινότερο παρελθόν αλλά αυτό δεν εξηγεί γιατί είναι σε κομμάτια. Αυτό που με εντυπωσιάζει είναι η άριστη τους κατάσταση.

Αν κάποιος από την Έλλαδα γνωρίζει κάτι, παρακαλώ να μου το πείτε.

Βοηθήστε με να ξεσκεπάσουμε το μυστήριο.

Κοιτάξτε καλά. Κάποια από τα σχέδια είναι υπέροχα.

Pebble mosaic floor on Symi island, Greece

Some time ago was browsing the internet for something else, came across these magnificent, meaningful pictures of people on pilgrimage on the island of Symi, published on a wordpress blog in 2008 and did not wish they remain neglected by my blog. here's the article, written in Greek. for more pebble floors see previous posts.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Calendar mosaic

We are in November and I still have not put on my boots and I look forward to. Today I want to go back to "ancient moods" and show you an exquisite mosaic from Tunisia with the calendar theme illustrating the seasons and the months, which are named, and illustrated by religious festivities or typical agricultural pursuits." Dated 1st half of the 3rd c. AD. Can you see November? It is 3rd row, 4th to the right, last image. View more mosaics from Tunisia here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Crystals, a quiz, Marilyn and Jackie...

The idea for this post comes from a post appearing on the simply luxurious life blog - featuring a book by Pamela Keogh - addressing the personalities of Marilyn M and Jackie O and how we women relate to them and find ourselves to associate with them in part or to a greater extent. The blog post is interesting and the author writes all her blog posts with a lot of insight, thoroughness and meticulousness.

She gives a link to a quiz on whether you are more Marilyn or rather Jackie or both. Here's the quiz here.

I could not help but publish a mosaic with Marilyn, exactly the type that embodies sumptuousness and lavishness that best describe her roles. Mosaic made with precious stones, in the specific case they are Swarovski crystals. Made by Gemstone Creative.

Go the their website and watch the introduction video. In the beginning it features wonderful ancient mosaics.

My comment is very simple and straightforward. Mosaic as we know it is precious on its own even without the precious stones. Marble, stones, pebbles, broken china, seeds are all we need to construct "luxurious enough" artworks. Mosaics are costly because of the patience, the skill and a long list of traits that the mosaicist has to possess. In fact making a mosaic with crystal does not even require cutting (I think!!) at least not with the hammer or the nippers. I would not enter into the merits of a work that I know nothing of. Just random thoughts.

Lessons in technology

Gareth Pugh S/S 2011 Collection - Director: Ruth Hogben from SHOWstudio on Vimeo.

Though this post is not related to mosaic art it refers to art in our age. I recommend you go and read the full (short) article on BOF that reads at the end: " a designer can leverage abstract, visually-centered storytelling to perfectly communicate a collection and articulate a broader brand vision in one powerful communication..."

Pondering on setting mosaic art into this fast-forward, digital technological age context could be baffling and intimidating.

Enjoy the video and out for the chequeboard cape floating on your screen. Also notice the silvery and grey shades of the film on the clothes and the whole production.

As mosaic artists or artists or craftsmen, I think we do need to find ways to leverage our products and their presentation. Could it be the destiny of small businesses and of the not so commercial art to remain fixated on the more traditional channels and means of communication? (by traditional I also mean having a website, selling online etc).

Some thoughts.