The Mosaic - from the copy to the interpretation… technical manual of the Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli

The title of this book is a little Delphic, but the subtitle tells us all we need to know. It is indeed a manual of the techniques and practices of the famous Friuli Mosaic School in Italy, fully illustrated in colour and with lots of fabulous close-ups. It is in fact a kind of detailed summary of what you would learn if you took one of Friuli’s comprehensive three-year courses - and it is one of the best books on mosaic-making I have come across.

Mark you, it is not aimed at beginners or hobbyists, but at would-be mosaic professionals. It covers everything, in great detail - tools, materials, adhesives, backings, andamento, all the various techniques, from pebble mosaics to smalti, portraits and complexions, floor mosaics and their substrates, sectioning indirect-method mosaics prior to fixing, etc. etc. "Thorough" is the mot juste; for example, the section on andamenti is illustrated with drawings of good andamenti and bad; it’s enough to send you back to your own mosaics, searching for sins.

A must for anyone thinking of practising mosaic professionally. Available from Buckland Books, as are most of the books reviewed on the Mosaic Matters website.

Paul Bentley

Price: £27

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