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Lay the pieces of Mosaic Art

Updated: Feb 4, 2022


Can puzzles be a way to explain what mosaic paintings are? Well, not exactly, but they can be associated very closely, a very obvious similarity being the pieces!


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HISTORY


Mosaic can be defined as the form of art that consists of various irregular-shaped pieces laid together to form a pattern, style, or image. The pieces might be made out of clay, glass, ceramic, or stones, depending on the style and surface on which the artwork is being done. It is one of the oldest and most prominent art forms all over the world, tracing its origin back to Mesopotamia, in the ancient Roman world. At that time, pebbles were used to design mosaic paintings and works. Floors, walls, and ceilings of palaces depicted royalty when they were decorated, or even made entirely in mosaic art style.


Mosaic art dates from around 1500 BC, invented and adapted first in sculptures, temples, and buildings in various parts of Mesopotamia. The pattern and images were made out of ivory, pebbles, stones, and shells, arranged in distinct forms. The use of mosaic art in wide varieties was also seen thereafter, in other parts of the world, like Greece, North Africa, and it stepped as an art form in India as well.




HOW HAS IT EVOLVED


Mosaic art was initially done in very religious and cultural forms. They were mainly associated with places like temples, churches, and mosques. The materials used for creating the artworks were mainly stones and pebbles, which were plastered so as to make the walls and floors strong and rigid enough.

In contrast, today, it is one of the art forms used in the modern sense too. It is not just used for traditional and cultural purposes, but also as a medium for artists to express their creativity. The materials used for mosaic art are not just limited to pebbles, stones, and shells. They can be made with literally anything. Leftover waste objects, paper cuttings, broke pieces of glass, bottle caps, plastic shards, anything can be used to create mosaic art. As long as you possess the image and pattern in your mind that you want to create, you just need to put the pieces in the right places.




TECHNIQUE AND USES


'Mosaic' has derived from the Italian word Mosaico or from the Latin word mosaics. The trick for the art form is to simply place the pieces to form a unified, complete image. Very surprisingly and intriguingly, mathematics has a great role in practicing and perfecting mosaic art. Tessellation, a concept of mathematics that mainly helps in measuring the exact shape, size, height, and width of a tile or any geometric object being laid on a flat surface. This helps to have an exact idea about the quantity of the tiles required for it, and of the specific measurements too, giving a brilliant touch of finishing to the artwork.


The term 'periodic tiling' is often used when talking about the process of tessellation. It refers to the record of the proper count, hence, easing the technique of differentiating between different color combinations, patterns, and styles used in the art form.


The honeycomb structure is one of the most common patterns used in mosaic art, and is categorized under the process of tessellation as well. It determines the spaces and gaps. Geometric shapes are the most common in mosaic art, hexagonal tile work is very often seen in day-to-day places.


Architecture and designing also depend hugely on the understanding of mosaic art and an insight into its details and technicalities. Even crafty works like origami include the patterns of mosaic art and the concept of tessellation to an extent.



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MOSAIC ARTISTS

  • ANTONI GAUDI

  • LAUREL TRUE

  • PIETRO CAVALLINI

  • LILIAN BROCA

  • PAMELA IRVING

  • MARC CHAGALL

  • ED CHAPMAN

  • BARBARA MASSALSKA

  • MIRKA MORA

  • JOHN BOTICA

  • KENNETH BUD

  • FABIO CRISTOFARI


All you need is irregular pieces and a mind full of creativity. Just like charlie created the chocolate factory by the toothpaste caps, collect things, tiny tidbits, and you're all set for creating a masterpiece!







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Wishing you a 'creative escape' ahead!

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