Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Mosaic Man, New York

I saw this breathtaking picture of Central Park in New York on LA Times today and thought..New of the places I would love to visit. Look at those fascinating colours! On a whim I googled "new york mosaic" to see what happens and what do you think popped up? The Mosaic Man!!! A New Yorker who decorated lampposts with mosaic, an artist from East Village who in 2004 won a City Lore People’s Hall of Fame Award.

Here are some links for this unusual guy:

the villager 1st article

the villager 2nd article

new york daily photo blog

Last but not least, a video of the Mosaic Man...Isn't this like a fairy tale?

Mosaic Man from Sahar Sarshar on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mosaic stars

This was such a temptation. I was doing Google search for some future posts and I could not resist posting this one. Those familiar with mosaics have seen this breathtaking, outstanding mosaic sky before. It adorns the ceiling in the Galla Placidia Mausoleum in Ravenna, the famous Italian mosaic city.

More info and pictures here.

Happy and starry new year to all my friends and followers! Thank you for being here!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ktisis mosaic (good wishes)


The woman personifies foundation and donation whereas the little man brings good wishes. A positive message to all of us for the new year. To build those solid foundations necessary to develop and work on your dreams and more heartfelt wishes.

You should read a wonderful description of this superb mosaic here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy holidays

Birth of Christ. Mosaic by Pietro Cavallini 1291.


Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all !

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mosaic for all levels: A brief review of 7 books

This post is for those interested in purchasing a book on mosaics for themselves or as a gift. In a previous post I featured a new book on mosaic portraits if you have missed it. For this post I have used the archives on mosaic matters website and my personal opinion. But for more, please click on the links under the book. It will take you to the book's full description.

Mosaics in a weekend may sound too good to be true but it is recommended for beginners (should be good, Martin Cheek is a well known UK artist.)

Stylish and simple mosaic. The only book I have from this list. Good for the paving slab and mosaic on mesh for bathroom tiles project. Well known authors. Biggs and Hunkin.

The mosaic sourcebook. Because it is Conran Octopus ...details here.

If you love broken china or want to vent creatively perhaps you could try with this book.

Finding your own voice..I heard it is excellent for inspiration. Click here.

Because of Jane Muir. I have only seen one work of her and it was enough to "establish" her in my mind as someone special. More on the book here.

This last one, details of which you will find here, is what I would love to see on my bookshelf. Because it is written by an indisputable and influential personality of the mosaic world Isotta Fiorentini Roncuzzi.

View the complete book reviews on mosaic matters here.

Books will never substitute a good, non-secretive and open-minded teacher, available to answer to all your questions, guide you through what could be daunting in the beginning. More important is that books are only a companion and basically your best teacher is yourself by means of the mistakes you will make.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mosaic portraits book


Books are the best gift, so here is an idea.

More mosaic books here.

View the MOSAIC ART NOW wish list here.

Best Blog Follower Award

Everybody talks about Best Blogger awards, I even got one and I truly appreciate it! But what about a follower award? The people who come to your blog, read your posts, make comments, actually spend the time to get involved in what you do? Time is precious and they are giving out their time...I am very thankful for all of you for being here and I am happy I post on matters that interest you and even happier this blog is gaining positive remarks. I am a person that has learned to be satisfied with the few little things. It is the best way to start in life. Don't you agree? (Ok, if I inherited a villa on Patmos island or Malibu I would appreciate that too..)

I am not sure if such an award exists but I invented one improvising something tailored to the person receiving this, a mosaic enthusiast, Bored Neoclassical Guy, to thank him for his dedication and especially for getting inspiration from my post here to craft a sweater that you can see on his blog here.

Thank you Eric and thank you all!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The woman who seduced the Emperor

Theodora was a woman of humble origins who married Emperor Justinian around 525. Her name Theodora - Θεοδώρα comes from the two Greek words Theos (God) and Doro (gift). Could we say she was eventually a gift of God? And to whom? To her husband, one of the greatest rulers of New Rome whom she helped as very few wives of rulers did? To her people because of her contribution to the governing of an Empire throughout the glittering years of Justinian's rule? Was she a gift to the mosaicists who where commissioned to depict her extraordinary and blinding beauty on the walls of San Vitale in Ravenna? Was she a gift to the mosaic world in general if you consider that it was mainly due to Constantinople that Ravenna or Venice (cities under Costantinople's rule/influence) became such remarkable and leading centers for mosaic art. And this was not just for the mosaics but for Rennaisance art. I leave the author of Greece Travel Blog to explain it:

Byzantine art was what Italian Renaissance artists were reacting to and improving upon, but it’s crucial that they had Byzantine art to build upon. All of our Western art basically comes from or responds to Renaissance art, and Renaissance art basically comes from or responds to Byzantine art.

When Rome fell and the Empire was transferred to the East (in the new city named after Rome's Emperor Constantine), nothing was left in Rome to be safeguarded. Rome yielded to barbarian invasions. It was New Rome - Constantinople that undertook the perilous role to keep and nurture culture, arts, the Roman and the Greek language. It was done so in a place that was both West and East. An Empire that lived for approximately 1100 years.

The Empire in which a humble girl could marry an Emperor....Theodora.


Images from the internet with copy link location option.

The amazing virtual Theodora is work by Lady Thera, taken from this fantastic blog post.

Learn about the Byzantine Empire through the main 12 Emperors:

12 Byzantine rulers

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blue mosaic wall featured on Habitually chic

via Habitually chic blog

If this was a plain blue painted wall it would be a different scenario. The beautiful "broken" quality of mosaic provides any type of room with a powerful statement. Mosaic has a long life, it is easy to clean and is waterproof. Regarding the costs, it is not always that costly if the design is simple and you choose few colours or opt for a monocromatic look like the one above.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Paintings that inspire mosaic making

This post is about the possible sources of inspiration as well as the basis of work for a mosaic from paintings or photographs. A good design, a drawing, painting or photograph can be translated into mosaic or act as a start for exploration. Not an easy task. I have always made simple drawings for mosaics or copied ancient ones, depending on the project. Today I want to feature 3 artists whose work fascinates me in a particular way as I think they provide a valuable foundation for mosaic work.

The blogs are in order of appearance:

Vasiliki of free paint (peacock)

Catherine Nolin of Catherine Nolin blog (partridge on an orange bench)

Elisabeth of Colorfic (meet the beettles)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Torcello and a tip of where to stay in #Venice


Exquisite, peaceful filled with a decayed yet glorious Byzantine presence of which the mosaics remain a powerful testimony.

The little bridge is called Ponte del Diavolo, Devil's bridge.

Some links for Torcello:

Brief history
Torcello near Venice
Traveling there
must see (Italian version but full of spectacular photos)

Now, a little valuable tip for those wishing to go to Venice on a budget, at least accommodation wise. Once I stayed a little hotel called Riva, nothing extravagant but absolutely stylish, clean and excellent value for money. In fact I fell in love with it for many reasons one of which is that while you are having breakfast downstairs, you are just a breath away from a small canal that flanks one side of the hotel. The staircase if I remember correctly is rather narrow but ..who cares? I think it has undergone renovations recently and I trust the atmosphere has not changed.

Heraclea Lyncestis: Colourful floral, animal, pattern mosaics

If I had to choose a mosaic panel for my dream living room it would be something along the lines of the mosaics from the ancient town of Heraclea Lyncestis. Blends with all styles. Classical, minimal, lavish, high tech.


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.