MODERN MOSAIC, Inspiration from the 20th Century

Tessa Hunkin and her colleague Emma Biggs are the founders of the distinguished firm Mosaic Workshop, London, and between them they have already produced three outstanding books on mosaic and mosaicing. Now Tessa has gone solo and come up with a stylish and thought-provoking (and mosaic-provoking) volume inspired by artists - painters, sculptors and mosaicists - of the twentieth century.

The profusely illustrated book kicks off with what at first would appear to be a conventional short history of mosaic (including a stupendous pavement from the Via Ardeatina in Rome and the unforgettable HMV dog in Alexandria) but it soon embraces Ruskin and William Morris and an overview of the arts and crafts of the nineteenth century. In the next century we meet Art Nouveau and the Bauhaus before moving to the story of modern mosaic proper. The works of Chagall, Niki de Saint Phalle, Trevor Caley and a host of others are discussed and analysed.

Next we have the customary chapter on materials, tools and techniques, fully up to the excellent standard of the earlier books.

Then we come to the sections that make the book special. Firstly, two intriguing chapters on twentieth century art as representation and as abstraction, illustrated by both paintings and mosaics. Each chapter features six projects inspired by a specific work, for example Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe and Paolozzi's Tottenham Court Road mosaics. Each project has text and step-by-step photos.

Finally there is a chapter on sculpture and 3-D objects, including more projects, three this time, my favourite being one based on a dog by Nek Chand of India.

The verdict? A must-have book for anyone seriously into making mosaics.

Price: 15.99

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