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Mosaics: An Artistic Medium for the Ages

Posted by Barbara Haaksma on May 18, 2017 8:11:55 AM

“There is no world without mosaics.”  - Helen Miles

Since ancient times, mosaics have been an expression of the time, culture, and people of the day. In design, mosaic tile blends are enabling designers to create their own unique vision in both residential and commercial spaces – a focal point that makes a space stand out.

Alexander mosaic.jpgAlexander Mosaic, Ancient History Encyclopedia

Mosaic creations have always told stories throughout history and continue to do so today. The mosaics below, from ancient Roman painting recreations to innovative modern day art, inspire us to bring color and pattern into our everyday lives and illustrate our own stories.

According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, mosaics began with pebble flooring and evolved into an art form in early Roman times. Largely inspired by Greek mythology and through the Hellenistic approach, mosaics began to replicate famous wall paintings, like the one pictured above. The famous Alexander the Great mosaic represented Alexander the Great on his horse, Bucephalus, during the Battle of Issus (333 BCE).

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As reviewed in the Time Travel Turtle blog, this Moroccan historical site, built in the 16th century as the Ben Youssef Madrasa, features colorful geometric zellige tile mosaics around the doorway, courtyard, and pool that tell a story of culture and are simply unforgettable.

Mosaics continue to be an avenue for storytelling around the world, merging historic techniques with modern perspectives. 

Ravenna, Italy is known for its famous mosaics – they are featured in beautiful historic monuments and churches throughout the small city. A local Ravenna artist, Luca Barberini, creates contemporary pieces of mosaic art through techniques that reflect the community’s history. The Time Travel Turtle blog spotlights how Barberini’s work merges old and new mosaics.

The beautiful intricacy of Helen Miles Mosaics created with natural stone and marble also stem from ancient designs and techniques. In “There's no world without mosaics,” the Scottish artist discusses how she sees mosaics in nature from rock strata to succulents. 

Street art takes on a whole new meaning with one of the most innovative solutions to patching up potholes in Chicago. Artist Jim Bachor has created dozens of mosaics on a platform of his own, potholes, to bring beauty and color to the city through whimsical ice cream cones to inspirational messages.

Today, mosaics remain an elegant part of inspiring interiors – whether as a statement piece in kitchen backsplashes, showers, or floors. Click here to view the range of styles and materials available in tile and stone mosaics that can bring your unique design statement to life, and be inspired by how designers have used Emser Tile mosaics to create one-of-a-kind homes.

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Rivera Pebbles & Venetian Pebbles cut into Slate Rustic Gold; installation by Star Bright Tile of Houston, TX

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Vista Sight; design and installation by Robert Griffin of Premier Kitchen in Houston, TX

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Bianco Gioia Marble Chevron; installation by The Hills Group in Granite Bay, CA

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Infinity Aeon mosaic; installation by DC Fine Homes in Eugene, OR

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Multiple Emser series; installation by AMD/Summerset Grills in Temecula, CA

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Crema Marfil mosaic; installation by RJ Biederman Construction in Sonoma, CA

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Lucente Ambrato Circle mosaic, Style white; Installation by the Hills Group in Granite Bay, CA

Topics: Tile

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We are driven by design, and in Finishing Thoughts, we bring it to life - sharing tile trends, spotlighting those who inspire us, and sparking creativity for residential and commercial spaces.

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