Mosaic Art – Inspired by a gravestone from Athens

Inspired by a gravestone I once saw on a cemetery in Athens I started researching of how to work on a classic mosaic like this. It became clear that this needed to be done in the tesserae and not with the more ‘modern’ smalti technique. As explained in my last blog this is done by using small pieces of natural stone instead of colored glass. The colors of a tesserae mosaic are less vibrant but the work will be much more durable. A perfect proof of this statement are mosaics created by the Romans still being in perfect condition after excavation 2000 years later.

A great challenge was finding out about the process of how to make it. After a while it became clear to me that I wanted to use nothing else but a positive laying technique (this is when the tesserae are placed in the image with their visible side pointing upwards). The great advantage of this was that I could see the image right away and could do corrections on the spot. It took me around a month to figure out a way to do this safely without loosing the fragile piece of art due to somebody bumping into it during the process. I had that once with a gravestone and wanted to avoid it under all circumstances.

There was quite a lot of help available. For example:

- How to carry out the work in general

- How to split the pieces

So I took a break from my work on grave markers and gravestones and started with this quite time consuming project of mine. After cutting the tesserae on our bridge saw I started my big challenge.

How to get from this….

gravestone image mosaic

to this…

finished mosaic for gravestone

On the next post I will explain how this was done.


Please follow this link if you got here looking for gravestone, headstones, tombstones, monuments and memorial markers.


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