Studio Ceramics team give us the lowdown on Mosaic Mondays
Time Out Bahrain staff
Studio Ceramics manager, Mona Al-Najjar, gives us the lowdown on Mosaic Mondays.
What can we expect from the upcoming mosaic workshop? Mosaic is an ancient and contemporary decorative art form which assembles small pieces of materials leaving gaps between to create a unified whole image. The small pieces, normally roughly cubic are used to create the pattern or picture. Mosaic can be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior design or of cultural and spiritual significance.The Mosaic Mondays course starts on November 14 and continues for four weeks. Run by our in-house artist, Tina Stokle (pictured above), the course includes all materials necessary and all instruction to produce a beautiful mosaic mirror and is suitable for beginners or more experienced artists. The shape is suitable for geometric or abstract designs. Tina will suggest simpler designs for those trying it out for the first time, but we encourage adventure and there are no rules in art.
Why mosaics? Are they easy to put together? Mosaic is an art form Tina first tried many years ago. It is a particularly recognised art form in this part of the world, and there are many fine examples of ancient mosaic particularly in Madaba, Jordan, and also a few pieces in our own Bahrain Fort museum. We anticipate lots of interest in the course which we are very pleased to add to our range of other courses.
What is the basic process for creating a mosaic? The process involves choosing a suitable backing, strong enough to hold the mosaic pieces and durable enough, and the right shape, for the intended purpose. We will use mainly different coloured ceramic pieces, but also some glass and other materials for interest. Using the direct method, we will first draw the chosen pattern or picture onto the backing and the materials will then be glued on to it following the drawn outline, leaving spaces between each piece. Just as when using paints, lighter and darker coloured pieces and different materials, can be used to create depth, shading and texture, or simply to outline or emphasize a pattern. The last stage is to grout the whole mosaic so that the spaces between the pieces are filled, and then the excess grout is cleaned off and the mosaic polished.
What materials can be used? Are mosaics something where a lot of patience is needed? Mosaic is not difficult, but it does require patience and planning. Tina will be on hand to guide students along their creative way. As well as the expected ceramic and glass pieces Tina has been known to add items as diverse as shells, badges, crystals and watch-faces to her work so we are looking forward to seeing what her students will come up with.
What age groups and skill levels can take part? This course is for adults but Tina will also teach a 3 week mosaic course to children as part of our Tuesday afternoon Groovy Gecko Club. The kids’ course starts on 15th November. How will the course develop over the five weeks and what will people have to show at the end of it? The first week will mostly be spent introducing the materials, deciding on design, patterns and colours, and sorting and preparing mosaic pieces. We will show how different size and colour can be used for different effects. Some speedy mosaicists may start sticking on their first pieces. The next two weeks will see the pattern and colours developing so the desired image begins to take shape. At all stages Tina will be advising as much or as little as desired. The final week will be for finishing touches and we will show students how to grout and polish their pieces. Our mosaicists are welcome to come to the studio and continue with their mosaics in between classes, should they want more time. Do you look to any famous mosaics from history for inspiration? What are your favourites when you think about mosaics? We will have pictures of traditional and famous mosaics available for inspiration for those who wish to follow an established pattern but Tina’s style is original and she will encourage diversity. We are inspired by all things Bahraini at Studio Ceramics at the moment, having recently introduced locally made ceramic lanterns for painting, greeting cards with Arabian themed ceramic pieces, and fabulous handmade camel magnets. We wonder if some of our camels and palm trees might end up in a mosaic.
What do you think the appeal would be for people to do this course? Why should they do it? It’s a great chance to learn a new skill, meet some new people and flex some creative muscle. At Studio Ceramics we hope to inspire original talent and we are looking forward to seeing a modern interpretation of a traditional craft when our first mosaicists present their finished pieces. We will be displaying a gallery of the students finished works and pictures of the mosaics as they develop over the four weeks. Mosaic Mondays are held at Studio Ceramics in Budaiya. The new terms starts on November, 14 from 10.30am-12.30pm. Course fees are BD50 for the four sessions. Check out www.studioceramics.com for more details and information about the Groovy Gecko Club.