My Obsession with Mosaics


“…but beautiful mosaics are made out of broken pieces” — Lori Jenessa Nelson

Traveling through Europe there are plenty of beautiful palaces and churches to look at.  For some reason though, while others are gaping at flying buttresses or speculating on who once lived in a certain palace I’m the one in the corner with my camera up against a wall or floor.

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One of my favorites from the excavated floor of a Roman villa

It’s not that the flying buttresses or huge pipe organs aren’t impressive.  Imagine, however, breaking something like a stone or a piece of glass then re-assembling it into something beautiful.

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From a bath house in Budapest.

First off you would have to have an amazing amount of patience (I don’t).  Also, you would have to have a fair amount of finger dexterity (I’m all thumbs). Perhaps it’s knowing that I lack these things that makes me stop whatever I’m doing when I spot a mosaic…

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From the same bath house in Budapest. Amazing I made it into the water…

I often wonder if the artist knew what he/she was going to create then broke things into pieces accordingly or if like Michelangelo – who saw his sculpture in the stone and carved to simply reveal it – the mosaic artist creates what the broken pieces say they’re meant to create.

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Same Budapest bath house. I’m pretty sure I made it into the water at some point.

Or perhaps it’s knowing that our own lives are like mosaics.  Parts of us break – relationships, jobs, hearts, bones – but then we eventually heal but are never quite whole again.

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Not just for Europeans. This mosaic is from South Africa.

Well whatever the reason my mosaic obsession shows no sign of ending soon.  My travel companions will have to continue patiently waiting while I stop at the site of a mosaic and record my obsession for posterity.

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This one was made from bandaids the artist found on the street. No, you can’t make this stuff up!

Of course, you don’t have to travel to find a mosaic.  The above photo is of a piece I found at the Minnesota State Fair made from used bandaids.  So much for getting deep-fried cheese curds immediately after!

Feed the blogger: Mosaics.  Love them?  Don’t care?  Never thought of them before?  Comments welcome.

Categories: Ruminations, TravelTags: ,

2 comments

  1. I love mosaics too. you should go to Westminster Cathedral in London to see the most amazing variety there. But I always think that that is an art form I would like to try my hand at. One day. I cannot draw or paint, but sticking things down really appeals.

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