- Posted on 06th March 2012 by Nicola Holden
Last week I attended a seminar on mosaics at Surface Tiles, and it got me thinking about the use of mosaics in interior decoration.
Mosaic is the art of creating images or patterns with an assembly of small pieces of coloured glass, stone, or other materials. The pieces are normally roughly cubic, and are known as tesserae. The earliest known examples of mosaics were found in a temple building in Mesopotamia, and date back to the second half of 3rd millennium BC. So mosaics have been in use in design for a very long time!
Some of my favourite buildings from around the world are heavily decorated using mosaics:
- The elaborate, golden mosaics of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
- The amazing embellishing of Wat Phra Kaew, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.
- The bright, playful mosaics in Gaudi’s Park Güell in Barcelona.
- A simple mosaic flower adorning the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
When designing with mosaics, there are basically two ways to produce a design:
- Using hand cut mosaics, where one or more lines of tesserae follow the edge of a special shape. Hand cutting mosaics can result in a ragged edge which gives the work a more authentic look.
- Using uncut mosaics, which results in a pixilated image. This method is quicker and easier to produce, and therefore less expensive.
Both of those mosaics are produced using glass tiles, but other materials include ceramic, mother-of-pearl, coconut shell and stone to name a few. Mosaics are also available in a raft of different shapes and sizes.
Mosaic tiles are generally more expensive to manufacture and install than larger format tiles. However, a less expensive way to give your interior a bit of the ‘wow’ of mosaics without breaking the bank is to use splashes of mosaic set amongst large format tiles. Here are a few examples of mosaics in some of my projects.
Do you have a favourite mosaic?