The history and origin of Mosaics

The art of mosaics is both ancient and widespread and certainly brings to mind the classical era of the Eastern Mediterranean. Used to decorate everything from pottery vessels to buildings, it embodies an impressionistic technique of playing with dabs of colour and light in such a way that the designs are revealed in vibrant detail, even though no attempt is made to hide the usually broad brushstrokes.

The insight needed to know how to best place mosaic pieces that often contrast strongly with their neighbours, obviously comes with much experience and practice.

With designs including everything from geometric patterns to organic forms, one needs to learn how to suggest what the viewer sees, rather than make clean-cut lines and clearly divided areas.

I have worked enthusiastically to master these techniques and under the name of Big Tree Mosaics, I now try to produce fine mosaic pieces that are imaginative, technically sound and artistically enticing.

While bits of tile are typically the mainstay of mosaic work, I use mirrors, smalti, stone, ceramic, shells, wire, found objects and many other materials that offer the colour, shape and texture I need for a specific design. All these are grouted together by hand, into the chosen design.

It is definitely an art form for those you who love to get their hands dirty. Producing any mosaic piece and having it slowly reveal itself as each new mosaic bit is grouted in, is hugely energising. Then, the final revelation – as the work is cleaned of surplus grout and polished up – brings the final joy – and often there is an unexpected and pleasant surprise when the work has just acquired that something extra special.

Perhaps you would like to share this enjoyment?