Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Inspiration.

As I am looking at the design aspects of mosaicing (particularly micro mosaicing) I have been thinking a lot about where I get the inspiration for my designs. I would say an over whelming amount has been nature to be honest, well nature and gaming but mostly nature. As you can see in the picture below inspired by the beautiful Monarch butterfly.

Monarch inspired butterfly.
I am finishing off all my smaller pieces as I mentioned in my previous post but I aim to have them completed by the end of February so already my mind is thinking about designs for the bigger items, particularly this small wooden holder below.

Into the box.
I am hoping to mosaic this to be sold as a wool holder for knitting projects. You can get at least three small balls of wool in each compartment with one strand out of each side and a third out of the top. This will help keep wool organised for colour work and the three compartments mean you could have 3 complicated pieces of work on the go at any one time. 

I have some lovely glass pieces in random shapes and sizes that I intend to make the bulk of the mosaic on using the small beads instead of grouting to hold the form.

So what I am looking for is ideas of the theme of the box itself. I have some nature based ideas but am really looking for something exceptional. The work will be mosaiced on the outside on all four sides, the inside will be lined with felt to keep the wool safe as will the base. 

The bits I will be mosaicing look like this; 
Side of the box.

Ends of the Box.


So if you have any ideas about what you would like to see on this piece of work, please come and leave a suggestion on our Facebook Wall. We are using Facebook for this to see how many people actually read our posts and blog with a view to starting competitions later in the year so please like the page if you pop over there so that you can be included in all the new and exciting developments.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Oh Bugle It!

Hello all my friends and welcome to the latest instalment of the mosaicing saga. I am finally in a position to pick up what I am doing on here and I come to you with some awesome developments.

The first, sadly is a bit of a pain in the bottom to be frank. I am having the most difficulty in obtaining 5mm bugle beads for the edging of certain of my mosaics. I went to eBay in the end but if anyone out there sells, or knows of someone who sells 5mm (or as close as possible) bugle beads in a variety of colours give me a shout!

Small Bug Keyring
Christmas Decoration
So what has been going on in the world of mosaicing. Quite a bit actually, for example we are now called Mostly Micro Mosaics as micro mosaicing is what I have decided to specialise in. I still will use bigger tiles in some projects, but for the most part I will be all about the teeny tiny seed bead mosaicing.

At the moment, and I know this seems weird but I am working on a large amount of small Christmas decorations, bug keyrings and Easter egg decorations. I want to get all the ones I can of them done by the end of February. After that I have a large amount of bigger projects to focus on, including pokeball coasters, sugar skull key holders and some really cute decorative bird houses.

Remember that I am all about the functional art, who says because something is useful it can't be decorative as well.

Future projects include picture frames, a great deal more tea-light holders, treasure boxes and all sorts but for right now I want a huge stock of Christmas things. This is only the small Christmas items of course, I have a whole box or bigger projects that I will be working on alongside my other projects throughout the year.

Hope you are having fun, whatever you are doing,

Bright Blessings, Nici xxx

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Head of Dionysus from Corinth

Hello all and welcome to this blog post!

Today I will be looking at this mosaic of the head of Dionysus, from ancient Corinth.


I picked it because I liked the pattern around the head, so I decided to do some research into it. Unfortunately, there are many pictures of this mosaic, but not very much information about it! I was able to find out that it is dated to around 150-225 AD, and that it was the floor in a Roman villa. I also found out that it is currently housed in the Ancient Corinth Museum, that opening times are 8-3 every day except holy days, and tickets are 6 euros unless you are over 65, under 18 or a student in the European Union, which sadly I am not!

What is interesting about this mosaic is that is recognised as being Dionysus rather than Bacchus, the Roman equivalent. When Greece was incorporated into the Roman Empire, many of their gods became closely linked with the Roman ones, for example Zeus became Jupiter, Hera became Juno, and Dionysus became Bacchus. The fact that this is Dionysus instead of Bacchus could be an indication that the Greek gods lingered during the Roman empire. Alternatively, it could just be that because it was found in Greece, archaeologists dubbed him Dionysus and so Dionysus he stayed!

Anyways, super short today because I chose my subject matter poorly, so sorry for that. Tis still a very pretty mosaic and I would love to go see it one day!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Madaba Map

Hello and welcome to this blog post!

Today I will be looking at the Madaba Map, an intricate and interesting mosaic found during the construction of a Greek Orthodox in 1884, following the destruction of the city of Madaba by earthquake in 746 AD. It originally was part of the Nea Church, which was dedicated in 542 AD.

Now I say this is an intricate and interesting mosaic, and it is probably the most intricate and interesting mosaic in the world being as it is a map of the Jerusalem! We don't know who it was made by, but we do know that it was made between 542 and 570 AD, as no buildings build after 570 are on it. This means it it almost 1,500 years old. Unfortunately, after it's rediscovery in 1884 it was badly damaged by activities in the church, fires and moisture, reducing its size from the original 21 by 7 metes to 16 by 5 meters. Luckily, in 1964 90,000 DM (roughly £40,000 or $52,000) was given for the restoration, which was undertaken by archaeologists Heinz Cuppers and Herbert Donner. When complete, it would have had 2 million tesserae!


Reproduction of the mosaic, with credit to Bernard Gagnon

One of the many things that is interesting about this map is that it does not face north, as modern maps do, but instead faces towards the altar at the east. This means that the places the map depicts are in line with with the compass directions. The map depicts a large number of important biblical sites that were previously undiscovered, such as Askalon, the Nea Church and the Cardo Maximus, the latter two of which were found in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. It also showed a road running through the middle of Jerusalem which was later discovered 4m below the surface of a modern road!

All of the places on the map are labelled in Greek, including around 150 towns and villages. There are also descriptions of several cities including Gaza and the previously mentioned Askalon that are so detailed that they could almost be used as street maps. 


Location of John the Baptist's baptism.

This map is incredibly helpful for locating sites of biblical significance, which makes it incredibly significant for Jewish and Christian people alike. It is also the oldest geographic floor mosaic in art history which makes it significant from an archaeological and historical perspective as well! I personally am amazed by how accurate it has proven and the sheer scale - it must have been incredibly impressive when it was complete and I am glad work is going into restoring it.

Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed!  

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Basilica of San Vitale - Byzantine Mosaics

Hello!

Today, I will not be covering just one mosaic, but a series of them in one of the most beautifully mosaiced places in the world - the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. As a basilica it is a deeply Christian building and that is reflected in the wonderful artwork on the walls, which is some of the best early Byzantine art in the world. Work was started on the church in 525 AD and took 21 years to complete, and cost up to 26,000 gold pieces, which shows the magnificence and scale of this building!

The basilica has something known as a triforium, which is an shallow gallery with arches that is embedded within an inner wall. Mosaics within the arches depict the sacrifices from the Old Testament, such as the sacrifice of Isaac. They also show Abraham and Melchizedek, Moses and the Burning Bush, the story of Abel and Cain, Jeremiah and Isaiah and representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel.

This one shows Abraham giving offerings to three angels on the right, and on the left God stopping him from sacrificing Isaac since he showed obedience to his will. 


This mosaic shows Moses, Isaiah, Abel and Melchizedek, as well as two angels holding a cross which decorated the top of each arc.

Moving into the presbytery becomes even more colourful and detailed. Hellenistic-Roman tradition involves bright colours and natural imagery such as flowers, birds (including peacocks), animals and stars, and all of these can be found in the vault of the presbytery. The leaves, fruits and flowers surround a crown encircling the Lamb of God.


As you can see in the above picture there is an arch above the windows on each side of the presbytery. Above that arch, two angels are holding a disk and to either side of those are representations of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Bear in mind this is all mosaic, it is incredibly detailed and the amount of work that must have gone into it is awe inspiring!

Moving on around the basilica then we come to the triumphal arch, which is decorated with images of Jesus and his twelve apostles.


 It is also decorated with two disks showing the sons of Saint Vitale: Saints Gervasius and Protasius.



As you can see, the artists ran out of space on poor Protasius' name, and had to drop an S to the line below! Very unprofessional indeed!


Now, there are a fair few other mosaics in this basilica, but I want to do a separate blog post for those as they are even more spectacular historically than these, if that seems possible! Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!