Ancient Greek mosaics are believed to be the earliest form of the mosaic technique. Greek methods began with the use of pebbles to form designs, binding the pebbles with compacted earth or a mixture of sand and lime. Artifacts, where pebbles were used to make patterned floors and pavements, have been found from the 8th century BCE.
Pebble mosaics persisted until approximately the 3rd century BCE, when they began to be replaced with mosaics of cut stone, glass, and ceramic cubes, or tesserae, which were adhered with mortar.
Tessera, (Latin: “cube,” or “die”) plural Tesserae, in mosaic work, a small piece of stone, glass, ceramic, or other hard material cut in a cubical or some other regular shape. (Britannica, 2018)
Mosaic art became the leading form of pictorial art, culminating in the extraordinary Byzantine period. The Renaissance movement, c. 1400, initiated the painted fresco technique through which artists were able to produce more realistic representations.
Use of the tesserae technique has ebbed and flowed over the centuries and has led to a wider skill set of varying techniques used by contemporary artists.
Enter AA Clay Studio and Gallery.
Still interested in mosaics?
Check out contemporary mosaic street art below.
The city of Prague, Checkoslovakia funds artists to enliven outdoor culture through ceramic mosaics.
Space Invader, influenced by popular arcade videos of the 70’s and 80’s, creates “invasion waves” in cities where he and his crew install 30-40 mosaics in various street locations. His goal is to bring art outside museum walls.
Jim Bachor uses contemporary subjects of pop imagery, like Starbucks and Twinkies, to fill potholes. He mixes cut glass tesserae with the gritty asphalt of Chicago streets. His art strangely refers back to ancient street pavements. Who would have thought?
AA Clay members are proud to be a part of the long history of mosaic art making. We offer our outdoor mosaic wall art to all who are a part of our ceramic and neighborhood communities.
Suggested reading can be found at the Ceramic Arts Network site under free downloads, bottom of page two: https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/freebies/free-guides/page/2/