This is a photo gallery showing the process of making a mosaic hour by hour.
Or: Why Kenyans make such good runners.
If you were to ask me if I’d like to meet for coffee. you might notice a flicker of panic cross my face. Rest assured, the panic is not about the thought of spending an hour or so in your company. There’s nothing I’d like better. But my moment of hestitation will usually hide a rapid calculation as to whether that hour, short but infinitely precious, can be spared from my latest mosaic project. If I were to try and explain why an hour matters so much, I think you’d probably assume I was thinking of excuses or had become slightly unhinged. ‘What’s the big deal?’, I can almost hear you thinking. Surely, in the space of day with all the time it contains, I can spare one mingy little hour for a simple cup of coffee.
Ordination of women in the Roman Catholic church
Behind the panic there is also an befuddled internal monologue in which I attempt to articulate the importance of that hour. But if I say it out loud, the words sound unconvincing and fall flat. So to circumvent the need to explain myself, I decided to keep a photographic record of a mosaic under construction. I wanted to show you what’s really involved in making a mosaic – not just the work in progress shots and photos of the finished piece but the nitty gritty of the whole process. Continue reading →
For a long time I have been wanting to make my own version of the famous ancient un-swept floor mosaicmotif. It’s a wonderfully whimsical design of the debris from a Roman feast strewn carelessly over a dining room floor. Animal bones, fruit peel, shells and nuts are among the things that have dropped from the banqueters fingers and remain there still, fixed in stone. My version would use both the remains of these long forgotten feasts and items from a modern life to tell a story.
How to make a direct method mosaic on mesh, Part I
Truth be told, I am going through a bit of a mesh phase. I cant seem to get enough of it. Making a mesh on mesh is just so darn simple, convenient, versatile and all-round handy. The finished work is easily lifted from its base, doesn’t weigh much and is a total synch to transport. The ‘unswept floor’ mosaic I am working on above is just the latest in a string of mesh mosaics I have made in my new found enthusiasm for the method.
Here’s one that’s finished. See what I mean about it’s light weight, ready-to-go-ness? Continue reading →
Forty six hours, umpteen cups of tea and non-stop Radio Four later. Ask me anything about international affairs or Scottish independence or the weather in the home counties, the price of coal, how cancer cells behave, Esther Rantzen’s singing voice, Francois Metterrand’s thoughts on Thatcher, the latest survey about British women’s sex lives…Go on. Anything!
Even about how to make a floor mosaic. Here is how it happened:
Making a floor mosaic – the planning.
The idea was to make a 90cm by 90cm mosaic insert for a floor in a traditional stone house in the Peloponnese, Greece, which would be reminiscent of this mosaic from Crete. The direct method on mesh would be used:
There are lots of lovely mosaics out there of birds and peacocks:
So I sat down and looked at all sorts of photographs of ancient peacock-y type designs and thought about the floor and its size and the colours and started coming up with ideas:
The future floor owner liked this one but there was still some tweaking to do – he wanted stripy wings and the tail design to be like the original:
Making a floor mosaic – the process
And here is the long suffering dog who was dragged out for cold, dark walks at 6am when he should have been curled up in bed so that I’d have the days free for mosaicking. As you can see, he isn’t very impressed:
(formerly Athens, Greece)
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Helen Miles Mosaics
I learnt how to make mosaics with Greek masters of the craft in Thessaloniki and Athens who taught using traditional methods with a focus on Byzantine iconography. Later, I become fixated with Roman designs and now my aim is to preserve the simplicity and directness of early mosaics while creating pieces which suit our modern lives.
New blog post on contemporary mosaic innovators. 1. Samantha Holmes ‘Unspoken’ 2. CaCO3, Movement No 12 3. Detail from Rachel Sager’s Ruins Project 4. Dugald MacInnes, Xenolith. http://helenmilesmosaics.org/contemporary-mosaics/mosaic-innovators/
Mosaics by Felice Nittolo, Raffaella Ceccsarossi and Pascale Beauchamp feature in my latest blog post about contemporary mosaics: http://helenmilesmosaics.org/contemporary-mosaics/contemporary-mosaics/