What is a Mosaic?
Mosaic is a decorative work practiced since ancient times. Many of them are considered great works of art. Small parts (tiles) are formed of rocks such as marble, other stones and paste glass, glazed ceramics, etc. All these small parts, of different colors and shapes, are arranged in different ways, achieving important decorative effects, which can be small or large surfaces such as floors, walls, domes, etc.
The mosaics are very old works. It is known that the first mosaics were made in Uruk, a Mesopotamian city, some four thousand years before Christ. Major had in Greece, from the 4th century BC, were created where mosaic pebbly in black and white and in color. Later, in the second century BC were introduced in Rome, where used small pieces of stone carved in the form of cubes. They highlighted the marble mosaics, which also added pieces of glazed earthenware, shards of glass, and even, sometimes, stones like agate, malachite, Carnelian and lapis lazuli. Eventually, the stained glass were used much more.
The mosaic was for many centuries, very important for Christianity, which was expressed through this art. In the Eastern Roman Empire, were much used to cover walls and domes. Already in the 9th century, important works were created in the golden age of Byzantine art. Important buildings decorated in many countries. In the 16th century, the art was preserved especially in Rome, where it was used to decorate the basilica of St. Peter. Later, the mosaic suffered an Oblivion that lasted until the 20th century, where it acquired popularity by the new interest in the decorative arts.
Types of outstanding mosaics include the Roman mosaic, using hard materials such as marble and stoneware, which are small mosaic tiles of different colors to create decorative drawings, especially aimed at paving. It is also important to the ceramic mosaic, which uses regular parts for covering walls, ceilings or columns. As for the Venetian mosaic, it uses pieces of opaque glass, especially for smaller works, but of great beauty. Another technique is the trencadis, which specially used irregular tiles of ceramics to achieve very striking works and various using broken tiles.
There are several techniques to make mosaics. The oldest is the direct, sewn in previously drawing composition indicating on the surface, the distribution of colors. Then placed the tiles of colors, which are soaking with a cement with lime or PuTTY with oil bath. Another method is to the carton, which uses a carton with the drawing that will take place. Parts are sticking on the cardboard to cover it, then turn it over and apply it to the surface that is going to decorate, which one must apply previously with cement or mastic. The carton is removed when the cement or the PuTTY harden. Simpler methods used bases of wood on which the tiles stuck together with glue are distributed.
The most common materials used in a mosaic today are the tiles of enamels, which are manufactured from glass which merges with coloring metal oxides at high temperatures. Molten glass is poured into metal plates and cools splits with Tongs in the press, usually square forms. Enamels gold, which are accomplished by applying gold leaf on glass which then melts are also used. It is also possible to make mosaics using any breakable material available to people, like plates, mirrors, shells, caps bottle, etc.