It looked so easy

Before Beth started making her first mosaic piece at the Mosaic Art School, she had no idea there was more than one way to make a mosaic or how technically challenging making a mosaic could be. There were many steps using the Ravenna method and each required knowledge and finesse. It had all looked so easy, until she made her first mosaic.

The second mosaic used the modern method with a timeline of just over a day to complete the entire work. Most of the steps of the Ravenna method were eliminated (and Beth was happy for that!), but the drawback with this modern method was having to work quickly with no ability to make changes later.

We students selected or created our own design and selected the materials.  A quick drying cement was placed on half of the framed board at 9am. The work began quickly because by 12:30pm the cement would be too dry to hold the tesserae (tiles).  After lunch the other half of the framed board was covered in cement.  The mosaic in its entirety needed to be completed when the class ended at 4pm.

Charissa finished her bold mosaic and then Luciana Notturni, head of the school, came over and studied it, made a few suggestions, and Charissa went back to work. Both were happy with the finished product.

Beth studied the blue shades of Venetian glass and decided to incorporate many shades in her design, including a little piece of ceramic tile she had scooped out of a dumpster while traveling though Cordoba, Spain.

Catherine worked from her photo of a fresco.

Time was too short to do an entire face so Hilkka concentrated her work on the eyes of the subject she found in a book.

Beth decided to use a mixture of marble and Venetian glass for her modern method design. She bisected the marble and glass with gold tesserae (tiles).

It was interesting to discover that tessera that looks silver is actually white gold since silver tarnishes.

The last morning we students retrieved our 1st mosaics (made using the Ravenna method) for one last touch.

Suzanne painted her work lightly with an oxide stain which slightly darkened the work – making it look less “new”.

Beth was happy with her finished work using the Ravenna method…until she spotted a problem area.

It was only then she remembered a tessera had fallen out when the lime was removed. Did it not get put back in?  She also saw a few tesserae had moved slightly and were no longer in their correct place. That’s when she remembered that she once heard that all oriental rugs were created with a minor flaw – since their makers believed only God could make a perfect rug.

For Beth the week truly was a dream come true.  Well, actually 4 dreams: 1) Taking a week-long class, 2) at the Mosaic Art School 3) in Ravenna, Italy, and 4) Beth was satisfied – actually, delighted! – with both of her mosaic pieces. Life could not be better than that!


May 2018

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Italy - Other and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to It looked so easy

  1. Beth – it’s the perfect travel artifact. Don’t you think those hands-on lessons teach art, history and culture all at once? Wonderful.

  2. Nice work – it would have been a lot of fun. What did Joe do for the week? Ruth is envious but at the moment knitting her second poncho for family members. I turn my hearing aids (now fixed) down so that I cannot hear the clicking.

  3. They look great to me. Well done, Beth.

  4. Such beautiful mosaics, all of them!

  5. vietnamtravelandculture says:

    Reblogged this on Vietnam Travel & Trade Portal .

  6. Annette Davey says:

    Fantastic story.
    As a mosaicer myself I could truly relate to the story. Wonderful to be able to join the class.

  7. This looks like such fun Beth. I can see why you looked forward to the class and know you’ll enjoy both tiles for many years to come. Reading your post makes me want to find a mosaic class to take! Anita

  8. plaidcamper says:

    Perfectly flawed! What a great experience.

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