dreamstime_xxl_34462548What is a Mosaic?

With a long history dating back centuries, mosaics are a fascinating art form. According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, a “mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials.” In some respects, it’s much like the glass or ceramic tile placed together in your kitchen or bathroom but to create images and unique designs.

Some of the earliest mosaics date back to 1500 B.C. in Mesopotamia. This style of artwork took off in the Middle East, and later made it’s way into Greece and Italy during the heights of both empires. Mosaics were traditionally used to decorate homes, and especially the floors of wealthy individuals, but they do have functional uses as well. In ancient Roman times, many shop owners would use small mosaics to illustrate the services they offered so a customer could simply point to the service they wished to purchase.  

Famous Mosaics.

Many different artists around the world have embraced mosaics as a personal art form, possessing some unique qualities that many love. Mosaics can be functional in home spaces and are surprisingly durable so they can last. They’ve been popular in wall art and for things like fountains. Consider these mosaics to help inspire you for your own ceramic tile mosaics in your home.

Done by an unknown artist around 100 B.C., the Alexander the Great mosaic housed in Naples, Italy was originally a giant wall mosaic in the city of Pompeii. It depicts Alexander during a famous battle. The mosaic was taken from its location in the House of Faun to help preserve it in the National Museum of Archeology.

A more contemporary example of beautiful mosaics is the work of Antoni Gaudi who is known for creating bright, beautiful works of art. His most prominent mosaic works pepper the city of Barcelona, Spain. Park Guell is known for much of his mosaic work and a mosaic salamander will even greet you as you enter this enchanting park.

How You Can Make a Mosaic.

There are several different ways you can use ceramic tile to make a mosaic. You can use both full tiles ranging from small one inch glass tiles, to unique diamond ceramic tiles for a clean mosaic pattern.

First figure out where you’re going to place your mosaic and what you want it to look like. Purchase and arrange your tiles in the shape and patterns you want; perhaps you will do a mosaic for your bathroom counter or a backsplash over your oven.

Next, you will want to prepare the surface where you will be placing your mosaic. Much like placing any other tile, you will start with a layer of mortar that will allow you to adhere your mosaic design to the surface. Place your tiles where you want them to be.

Once the mortar has dried with the tiles in place, you will then go over the surface and fill in the gaps with grout. In a previous post, we discussed what is grout and how to choose the right one. Consider those tips before you coat your mosaic in grout.

Let everything dry and then enjoy the beautiful artistic addition to your home.