About the mosaics

Fish mosaic detail. Photo and mosaic: Helen Miles Mosaics

Inspiration for the mosaics

Most of my pieces are inspired by Greek themes – Byzantine stone carvings, ceramics, wall paintings and, of course, mosaics, and I also draw on ancient Roman designs. The mosaics are made mostly with  Greek stone and marble as well as additions of ceramic, glass, millefiori and smalti.

Stone chopped and ready for use. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

Each piece takes many hours to make – the stones are all individually cut to size and then put in place one by one, often using tweezers. The material used in each mosaic varies from piece to piece but most of the mosaics are suitable for an indoor and/or an outdoor position. If you need to know more facts about the mosaics, do contact me directly.

Bird mosaic, detail. Work in progress. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

Facts about the mosaics: the direct method

I use both the ‘direct’ method whereby the stones are placed ‘face’-side upwards directly onto board, and the ‘indirect’ method which means the tesserae are stuck upside down onto canvas.

Work in progress. Direct method mosaic on marine ply. Photo and mosaic: Helen Miles Mosaics.

Most of my direct pieces are set on treated, painted and sealed plywood which is suitable for protected outdoor conditions as well as for indoor use. Alternatively, the direct mosaics are applied to mesh sheeting which is light and easily transportable and are set on or into a preprepared plaster or stone wall in a similar way to which tiles are fixed in a bathroom or kitchen. These mosaics can also be adapted for outdoor use.

Work in progress. Section of fireplace surround on mesh. Photo and mosaic: Helen Miles Mosaics.

Facts about the mosaics: the indirect method

I have used the ‘indirect’ technique to make cast pieces. This involves placing a temporary wooden frame around the mosaic into which concrete is poured and left to set. When it is ready, the frame is removed, the work turned over, and the canvas peeled off to reveal the finished piece. These pieces (see mosaics with the tag ‘cast’) are extremely durable in all settings including floors, but they are heavy. They are perfect if you looking for a pre-made mosaic which can be set immediately into a wall or floor without the time delay of commissioning a piece. Another way to finish these pieces is in a custom made wrought iron frame.