Mosaics – Pieces of Art Feb16

Mosaics – Pieces of Art...

Mosaic art uses small pieces of material, placed together to form a pattern or image. These pieces are called tessera and usually consist of glass, stone, ceramics, mirror, or shells. The space (or interstices) between the tesserae are then filled with grout to solidify the artwork. There are several different techniques used to create mosaic art: Opus regulatum: the tesserae create a grid where the pieces align both horizontally and vertically. Opus tessellatum: the tesserae created a horizontal or a vertical alignment, but not both. Opus vermiculatum: the tesserae follow the edge of a particular shape highlighting the shape. Opus musivum: similar to Opus vermiculatum but extends throughout the entire background. Opus palladianum: the tesserae are irregular shaped and unevenly placed. Opus sectile: a single tessera creates a major shape. Opus classicum: a combination of vermiculatum, tessellatum and regulatum. Opus circumactum: the tesserae are set up in semicircle or fan shapes that overlap. Micromosaic: the tesserae are extremely small, used in jewelry or Italian panels. There are three main techniques to laying mosaics. The Direct method, used where surfaces have a three-dimensional quality, is when the tesserae are glued directly to a support piece and then grouted. The Indirect method, which is mainly used for larger or vertical surfaces, is when the tesserae are placed upside-down on an adhesive-backed paper and then transferred to the structure. The Double Indirect method is used when seeing the design is important. The tesserae are placed face-up on an adhesive or sticky surface, then after the design is complete, another adhesive surface is placed on the facing-side and then carefully removing the one below. This is the most difficult of the three techniques. The history of Mosaic art is rich and examples from various cultures can be found...

Living Celtic Knotwork Jul15

Living Celtic Knotwork...

Celtic knots are magical. The complexity of the most ancient Celtic art works seems to fly in the very face of what I posted about in my article on focus; there seems to be nothing to focus on at all. The sheer number of knots, changes, patterns were said to have been so intricate that only angels could have possibly carved them into stone or illuminated the pages of ancient manuscripts. But the focus is there. The focus is not on the knot, but on the piece itself as a contained system. When I finally took the plunge into the artistic construction of Celtic knots it was through the help of George Bain’s book Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction. Mr. Bain has spent his life studying the artwork of the ancient Celts in an attempt to understand them and recreate a lost art form. No small task, I set out to follow his guidance and started tentatively into a journey that ultimately began to transform me. Even as I learned how to weave together a simple dirk knot and began to move into more ornate borders and spirals, I soon learned that if I was going to continue I was lacking skills that I had forsaken long ago; mathematics. I suddenly had a reason to care about geometry and ratios in order to plan out spaces that would meet very tangible space requirements in order to be properly filled with the design I desired. I had to teach myself old compass and straight-rule tricks for the making of geometric objects. My spatial awareness began to blossom to a mantra of “over, under, over, under” as I wove three-dimensional lines into a two-dimensional medium. Knot construction is ultimately a meditation similar to the care...