MosaicBlues: September 2014 .entry-content { font-size:25px !important; }

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Illustrated Reverse Method

In the Reverse Method the mosaic is build upside down.

Everything begins with a model, mirror image of the final piece. To allow for easier cleaning, I ask my printer to laminated mine between 2 thin sheets of plastic.

The tesserae are glued upside down on the model with a water soluble glue.

At this stage, only a few  beige tumbled Travertine and black Granite tesserae had been laid.

Later, all the Travertine and Granite had been laid.

And I started to lay iridescent red glass in the background of the Michi Sign.

Once all tesserae were laid,

Came the time to apply the Thinset mortar on top of the piece.

And glue the support on top of its back...

48 hours later, once the mortar is properly cured, one flips the mosaic

Et voila le travail !

This particular mosaic represents the Chinese Ideogram TAO, also pronounced "Do" or "Michi" in Japanese. It was commissioned by a Martial Art Instructor to display in her Atlanta dojo.
If you are interested by a similar piece or by an other of my works, please contact me by email at or by phone at (334) 798 1639.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Yin Yang - TAI CHI Mosaic

Originally, Yin and Yang are the 2 faces of a hill over which the Sun shines. The side in the shadow is YIN, the side in the light is YANG.

Yin and Yang are the two sides of the TAI CHI coin. Those two faces are opposite, and at the same time one cannot exist without the other. So when one sees the tail of the coin and cannot see the head, remember, the head is right here, below, always…
  • This is the first principle of Yin and Yang : one cannot exist without the other.
  • The second principle : within Yang exists Yin, and within Yin exists Yang.
  • The third principle : Yin and Yang (opposites) generate each other: Yin produces Yang, and Yang produces Yin. When Yang becomes very Yang, it turns to Yin; when Yin becomes very Yin, it turns into Yang : The Night is always darker right before dawn.

These 3 principles are represented by the Tai Chi Symbol – when the Yin (dark) is the biggest, Yang is being born, and vice-versa. The white dot in the centre of the Dark part is here to remind us of this.

The Golden Tai Chi Mosaic is a simple and powerful composition. This classic Tai Chi measures 18 x 18" (45 x 45 cm). It is made of 3 stones only :  Beige Travertine, Gold Travertine and Black Granite.

If you are interested by my other works please visit my site Mosaicblues

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Monday, September 8, 2014

August 24, 79

1935 years ago, on August 24, 79 AD, it was another beautiful summer morning in the towns of Pompeii and Herculanum around Mount Vesuvius, Italy.

By 1:00 PM, Mount Vesuvius exploded in what is considered as one of the most catastrophic eruption in European history.

Downwind from the Volcano Pompeii was slowly covered with pumice stones and ashes. The weight made many building collapse while upwind Herculanum was originally spared. 

After several hours of this stony rain, in a second eruptive phase during the night or early on August 25, extremely fast pyroclastic surges engulfed the area South and West of the Volcano. Herculanum was quasi instantly buried under 75 feet of Pyroclastic material. Its buildings did not even have time to collapse. 

It is estimated that 16,000 people were killed by the eruption. (This is the size of the population of Alabama's Henry County where I live)... 

The whole region was buried under ashes and eruptive materials and forgotten for 15 centuries. 

60 years after the events, no one was left knowing where Pompeii had ever been located.

One of the most horrific natural catastrophy of European History... 

And yet, because of this infamous event, such beauty was preserved.

Neptune and Amphitrite mosaic, Herculanum.

This colourful piece is fully executed with glass paste tesserae, which was uncommon at this period and a good indication of the wealth of the family living in this house. 

The House of Neptune in Herculanum

Because Herculanum was almost instantly covered with an extremely hot pyroclastic surge, its buildings did not even have time to collapse. THis is why we still have numerous wall mosaics in Herculanum, which we do not find in Pompeii.

In Pompeii, the weight of ashes and pumice stone slowly falling from the sky destroyed the buildings. Most of the preserved mosaics are floor ones such as the Alexander Mosaic found in the "House of the Faun"  representing the battle of Issus between Alexander king of Macedonia and Darius emperor of the Persians.

Emperor Darius  in the Alexander Mosaic, Pompeii

The House of the Faun built during the 2nd century BC, was one of the largest, and most impressive private residences in Pompei, and housed many great pieces of art. It is one of the most luxurious aristocratic houses from the Roman Republic. Only the pillars supporting the roof were left.

The Fish Mosaic was also part of the House of the Faun. This remarkable piece accurately represents over 13 species of sea creatures. Similar mosaics were found in other houses of Pompeii.

The Romans began using mosaics during the 2nd century BC. They borrowed the technique from the Greeks they had conquered. Greek mosaicists came to Rome and worked there - as freemen or slaves - for their new masters. 

With the conquest of the Mediterranean world by the Republic, luxury items from all over the Ancient world converged toward Rome. After Cesar's death in 44 BC, the republic was abolished, and with it a certain frugal lifestyle. Wealthy "Nouveau Riche" patrons of the Empire built for themselves luxury residences. Mosaics such as the ones found in Pompeii and Herculanum were in high demand and quickly highly talented mosaicist masters and apprentices were trained in various parts of the Empire to work on the new palaces' floors and walls.  

Their mastery of their Art is clear in the above pictures. 

Today, 2000 years later, when standing in front of one of my pieces I am putting together on its bench, I sometimes become aware of the sense of focus and solitude, the intense concentration on the work I experience; time is - at least partially - abolished. And somehow I feel this is how these master craftsmen were feeling. Somehow, I am now one of them. I use some of the very same tools and moves they used, and through these moves I am in communion with them. 

And THIS, my little friends, is one more reason why I love mosaics ! 

Who knows, maybe I was one of these guys...

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If you are interested in purchasing one of my mosaics, would like to commission a special project or to simply discuss the wonderful art of modern and ancient mosaics, please contact me by email at or by phone at (334) 798 1639 or visit my remodeled Mosaicblues Website

Monday, September 1, 2014

My First First Prize

On August 30, 2014, I was awarded the first Prize at the Juried Art show of the Anne Rudd Art Center in Ozark, Alabama. This was the 4th year I competed at this event.

This year I had brought Miriam's Eyes to the show.

I am very thankful for this award. The people at the Art Center work very hard to organize this show every year and I feel proud an honoured to have been chosen among the group of talented artist who participated.

Award Winners to the Show.

Miriam's Eyes is a very colourful piece of 21 x 39". She is the twin Sister of Mariam's Eyes who now brightens the walls of a dear friend of mine in Londinieres, France.

Miriam's Eyes is available. If you are interested by her or by an other of my works, please contact me by email at or by phone at (334) 798 1639.

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In which i keep you informed of my work, techniques, history and archaeological aspects of mosaics.