Throughout the history, the art of Mosaic has always fascinated with its splendid colors and distinctive aesthetic. Mosaics are often made of colored glass tiles which are meticulously arranged and give an eye-catching approach to art. Their ornate designs and mysterious methods makes us think that the mosaic-making practice is only for the professionals. However, with just a couple of tools, you can make your own glass art.
Mosaics are assemblages made of tessera: small pieces of glass, stone, or other nature-based materials. When we choose glass, these pieces are generally cut into squares or formed using special tools.
Mosaics were a popular art form in many cultures around the world. The first mosaics were found in a Mesopotamian temple from the 3rd millennium BC. Made up of ivory, seashells and stones, these decorative pieces started what mosaics would become many years later in Greece and the Roman Empire. However, Classical artists wanted to create pictures, patterns, and motifs in their mosaics.
From the 4th century until the Renaissance, mosaics appeared unexpectedly in Catholic basilicas across Italy. These glass works beautified the floors and depicted transcendent portraits of saints and biblical figures.
Mosaics are also celebrated in Islamic architecture, becoming popular in the 7th and 8th centuries. These works represented geometric forms, ornate patterns and appeared on the façades of buildings.
During the Middle Ages, mosaics were important to Byzantine art. These pieces were often portraits. They were appreciated for their complicated details and liberal use of shimmering gold leaf. While the majority of these works have been destroyed, those still remaining are celebrated as some of the most beautiful mosaics in the world.
Though Renaissance artists refused the craft, it was reborn by Modernists. Modern artists from Antoni Gaudí to art deco designers helped keeping the ancient art form alive. In this manner, they prepared the way for contemporary mosaic-makers.