What Is Mosaic Art?

What is mosaic art? Basically it's the art of putting small pieces together to form something larger. It's an assembly process. So, it's a form of assemblage. Basically it's the art of putting small pieces...

Basically it's the art of putting small pieces together to form something larger. It's an assembly process. So, it's a form of assemblage. Thousands of years ago people used pebbles and little bits of stone and shell and then as more material started to become available people started using other things such as glass and moving into the present tile and tile glass, mirror, little shards of anything.


The earliest mosaics, according to most sources, where uncovered around 2500 BC and people say that this was actually in present day Iraq. The earliest mosaics were done to decorate architectural components of buildings and they were done with stones, pebble, and chunks of marble. Mosaics were being done before people were doing painted scenes so it's one of the oldest art forms out there and it has developed into different forms. You see it used in churches and on ceiling all over Europe. In the Byzantine era they developed this material called smalti, which was made out of glass and meant to be set at very irregular angles to catch the light. The surface is very irregular, it's not usually grouted and this gives the surface a look that the religious leaders of the time were looking for to describe their religious scenes.


In the late 1800s we saw a resurgence in the use of mosaic and ceramic tile. And then during the turn of the century, Tiffany was starting to do mosaics with stained glass, so the history is wide and vast.

Anybody can make mosaics. It's a very mysterious art form and it's a very accessible art form. It doesn't require a lot of fancy stuff or background in art. I encourage people who are interested to jump in and experiment on their own, but also if they want to get in a little deeper to seek out some good instruction.

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