Rhythm ‘n’ Tesserae

So, the last two weeks, I have had a skilled mosaic artist helping me complete my large Ammonite fossil wall mosaic.  We are not finished yet, but we’re almost there.

Those of you who have not made mosaics before might be surprised to know that copying another person’s mosaic style, as Celina has been doing in my studio, copying my style, is a lot like copying another’s handwriting.  Yes, we make our letters with the same loops.  The same lines in relationship to the other lines.  The same strokes and everything.  BUT, the handwriting is distinctive.

This is what it has been like for Celina to copy my mosaic style.

There is a certain way I cut each piece- the angles I use, the amount of wavy naturalness of each cut I allow to remain, the sizes of the tesserae, and the sizes of tesserae in relation to each other.  The way I lay in the tesserae, the places in which I prefer large pieces filled in with small pieces versus the places in which I prefer all medium-sized pieces.

Then, there is the way I see lines of pieces lying side-by-side.  I often see structure in the pieces, just the same way I hear structure in music.  I love syncopation (accents on the off-beat), so I often lay my tesserae with the same syncopated sensibility.  Once I described my feelings about music to Celina, she understood.  

Green mosaic tesserae laid in with flow and punctuation.

My style.

part of an ammonite fossil wall mosaic

Celina imitating my style.