What is Mosaic Art?
Mosaic is the ancient art of creating images on a surface using a combination of materials of varying sizes to create a final work of art. Small pieces of material - smalti, ceramics, glass and stones - totalling hundreds or even thousands - are used to form a final composition that can be recognised as a specific pattern or picture.
A highly versatile art form, mosaic art can be applied to a wide range of surfaces from walls, to floors, to table-tops. Mosaic art is extremely durable and can be applied both indoors as well as outdoors, adding to the colour and vibrancy of any space.
Mosaic Applied Theory
Practical Mosaic (Main Subject)
The main focus of the applied teaching approach in the Academy is Practical Mosaic. Tuition in the ancient art of mosaic takes place through collaboration on real-life, large-scale architectural pieces with prominent local artists. Apprentices spend the bulk of their day in the practical studio gaining valuable hands-on experience of interpreting designs into thousands of pieces of tesserae (Latin term for the small pieces of material used in a mosaic artwork).
Andamento offers the opportunity to learn how to plan and experiment with colour choices and the ideal placement of the mosaic pieces (tesserae). The technical rules of the different mosaic styles are studied.
Collage exercises develop colour sensitivity and encourage experimental colour combinations. This module enables apprentices to experiment with different mosaic styles and ‘test’ andamento in practice through quick ‘paper mosaic’ exercises.
The Mosaic Theory module is broken down into four components; General Mosaic Theory, Colour Theory, Material Knowledge and Design Theory.
General Mosaic Theory
Apprentices are introduced to different mosaic styles built on an understanding of mosaic development and application in the Western and African world. This module provides the necessary theoretical background to successfully design and construct a mosaic artwork.
A thorough understanding of colour is required to accurately interpret a design into a different medium. This module focuses on colour types, basic terminology in colour theory and the behaviour of colour to harness its full potential.
Material knowledge focuses on a good working knowledge of the wide range of materials that are available in the production of mosaic, including engineered, semi-precious and natural stone, glass tiles and ceramic elements.
This module equips apprentices with a sound knowledge of the history of art in a global context, focusing on the development of styles, subject matter and the role of art in society. Teaching instils the confidence and ability to interpret and discuss art theory.
Classical drawing & technical drawing techniques are taught, and through continued practice, apprentices learn to draw with confidence. By sharpening the eye to detail and teaching good hand-eye coordination, overall drawing skills are improved.
The focus of the business skills module is to prepare apprentices to successfully start up and run their own creative enterprises. Topics include small business setup, business strategy, planning, marketing, quoting and basic accounting. Mathematics and computer training form part of this module, providing knowledge on basic mathematics, geometry and scaling. Vital Internet and email know-how is also shared to harness the online world for research, marketing and networking.
The academic year commences in January and is divided into quarters. Mosaic Applied Theory is evaluated on a constant basis, with verbal and written feedback. The remainder of Academy subjects are evaluated during written examinations at the end of each quarter.
Examinations ensure an acceptable level of competence, as well as the necessary level of confidence in verbal and writing skill. An average of 50% is required to pass Academy subjects.
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