SAVOIR FAIRE and QUALITY
MOSAICS ARTWORKS MAKING
Mosaic: traditional or modern method ?
Rachel holds a Diploma in Fine Arts, is passionate about Art history and was taught mosaic art, in 2001, at the ‘Cooperativa dei mosaicisti di Ravenna’ (Italy): a major (and historical) place for traditional mosaic making of Ravenna. This collective, founded in 1947, aims (beyond restoring historical heritage mosaics) to transmit the tradition and ancient know-how for the making of Roman and Byzantine mosaics. This hand-crafted method to reproduce ancient mosaics is thus maintained at the Stuc and Mosaic studio. However new materials (flat marble, wood, stainless steel tesseraes…) and current technologies allow the creation of different mosaics, sometimes more adapted to the current needs (epoxy resins, cement… etc). New techniques are then adapted while maintaining the use of the hammer and hardie: ancestral tools but still the most accurate for a quality mosaic arts and crafts.
Mosaics created in the Stuc & Mosaic studio are generally prepared according to the ‘direct’ method (which allows a greater freedom of expression) but the support can be definitive or temporary (extruded polystyrene foam, net).
They can also be created according to the indirect method when this method is the most appropriate.
The direct technique is also very precise for the reproduction of Antiques.
Custom-made mosaics integrated into the architecture, or which have a utilitarian character, are prepared with plane marble, ceramic or Venetian smalti (without asperities) for their practicality: table top for example.
In order to facilitate transport, mosaic on-site installation and a rapid execution response, extruded polystyrene foam panels or even fibre mesh are used. And the current cements adhesives, optimized with latex for a better flexibility have replaced traditional lime.
As a conclusion, current or former techniques and materials little alter the way and quality of a mosaic artwork. The mosaic making remains a fully manual craft in which the materials cut with the hammer and hardie gives singularity and a voluntary irregularity in the ‘tesseraes’.
The result differs completely from industrial mass produced mosaics, cut with a saw with a perfect and implacable geometry and symmetry. Mosaic artworks also differs according to the artistic sensitivity of each mosaic artist and ‘andamento’ (rythm) given to the materials: inclination of the tesserae, choice of shades and refraction of light, contrast between polished and Matt, rough or smooth, flat or embossed materials, use of shadow and light… etc
More than the technique or method, the quality of artistic expression gives the mosaic artwork its singularity.