contemporary mosaic art

Contemporary mosaics: mosaic innovators.

Mosaic innovators

mosaic innovatorsCaCO3. Movimento n.1. Photo: @Arte Mosaico Ravenna.

 

Part III of a three-part post on contemporary mosaics.

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Part I Highlighted the particular properties of mosaic by demonstrating what mosaics are not.

Part II Examined how contemporary ceramics have broken down the barriers between art and craft and how the material used is less important than the ideas behind it – an obvious lesson for mosaic artists.

This post will look at how contemporary mosaicists are creating work ‘which uses the medium of mosaic, but not to make us think ‘that is a mosaic’ but to make us curious, to amaze us, to unsettle us, to take us, in short, by the scruff of the neck and say: ‘Look, look and look again. I have something interesting and exciting to say.’

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mosaic innovators
Dugald MacInnes, Xenolith (MOHO). Photo: @Chicago Mosaic School

The time has come to look at the world of contemporary mosaics, at the mosaic innovators of our time: the explorers, the risk takers, the convention-shatterers, the beauty-creators. They’re there, they’ve always been there, hiding in plain sight, being exhibited, winning awards, attracting acclaim and attention – but only in certain circles. Continue reading

Teaching Yourself Mosaics – Part II

christine brailler cat
Pet portrait by self taught glass mosaic artist Christine Brallier. Photo and mosaic: @cbmosaics

Part II: Books, forums and experiments

(For Part I – my guide to online mosaic courses and tips please follow this link: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/mosaics-miscellaneous/online-mosaic-courses/)

This post is both a source of information about teaching yourself mosaics and a resounding bell-ringing shout-out. Since I can’t go to the top of a building with a megaphone it’s the next best way to say that self taught mosaic artists are one helluva inspiring bunch. Until I started a discussion about teaching yourself mosaics on Contemporary Mosaic Art I had no idea that there was a whole sub-category of mosaicists out there who have sat down and quietly and doggedly taught themselves everything they needed to know to pursue their artistic vision. Their work and dedication says much louder and clearer than I ever could that great things can be achieved, creative wonders realised, beautiful mosaics materialised without the help of classes or formal training.

teaching yourself mosaics
An early home experiment made during my mosaic class days. Photo and mosaic: @Helen Miles Mosaics

I can’t claim to be a self taught mosaicist myself as I attended weekly classes here in Greece with mastercraftsmen who specialised in the making of Byzantine-style icons. But I was frustrated by the limitations of the methods and approaches of the teachers (only the indirect method was used, no tessera could be larger than a match head, no spaces were allowed between the pieces) and went home and experimented. I read mosaic books and followed step by step projects, I endlessly visited ancient mosaics in museums and sites and I made an awful lot of mosaics which I am glad that I will never had to see again.

teaching yourself mosaics
An early indirect method mosaic made with glass, mirror and smalti. Photo and mosaic: @Helen Miles Mosaics

Continue reading