Tiny Mosaics

Johannah has been exploring a new-to-her technique of setting tesserae (mosaic tile) directly in mortar, rather than gluing tiles and then grouting over them. This is the method used to create the ancient Byzantine and Roman mosaics, as well as an ever-growing body of gorgeous work by modern mosaic artists. She's created a line of miniature pieces in this technique using reclaimed and found materials alongside traditional smalti, a thick opaque glass.

{Click any image to enlarge.}

Working in groups or series is a great way to explore an idea from multiple angles. The top two photos are pieces that center on a found object. The tiny dolls in the top left poke fun at the unrealistic body imagery our culture has for women and men alike. The shape of the found object itself is the focus in the three pieces in the top right photo.

The series in the bottom left photo are miniature landscapes: snow shadows, a drop of rain in a puddle, and a view of kudzu overtaking a rusty train bridge. Finally, the series in the bottom right plays with all sorts of ideas: texture, pattern, color, and negative space, just to name a few!

These last two series started out as lines created from reclaimed terracotta pottery. These pieces are all about the material: the soft color and rich texture of the terracotta, as well as the way the terracotta plays against the bright blue and green reclaimed ceramic and soft gray of the concrete.

You can find a limited selection of these tiny pieces up in our Etsy shop