Recently, I completed a mosaic tray, a bright little piece to give me cheer. As grief strikes, and I am once again drawn to mosaics to make sense of my world – piece by piece, working at ground level, only understanding what emerges from a distance. I am keen to start a major piece, one that will absorb me within it. It is slowly taking shape in my mind and one day will emerge in fullness to adorn my home. It will, once more, be a testament of love.

Mosaics are time consuming. From drawing the pattern, through to cutting or smashing tiles and then finding the pieces that fit together, it is a labour intensive process. Not every fragment fits neatly, and there are always pieces left over. I never discard these, as they may become invaluable in a future project.

In some ways, mosaics are similar to jigsaw puzzles. You always have to find the fitting piece for the picture to emerge. You also need concentration, turning the piece this way and that to see if it works here or there. Tile cutters can help with nibbling away at a piece which is too big but glass tiles easily shatter, which makes the process a painstaking exercise.

While smalti glass is my preferred medium, I also like working with bright ceramic tiles. Smashing these with a hammer can be therapeutic. It is ironic that a perfectly good tile has to be broken to be reassembled in new ways for a picture to reveal itself. No wonder I am always drawn to mosaics when life has dealt me a blow. At first, I am in free-fall and then, crashing to the ground, I lie broken, contemplating the pieces, wondering how they will fit back together in a new life I will fashion.

There are pieces I will always keep, pieces I discard, and slowly a picture emerges, full of new possibilities and promise of beauty. These pieces are ephemeral, their existence attested by words and sometimes not even that. They are elusive, passing through my mind, waiting for my next move in their reassembly. Is it any wonder I am drawn to mosaics? Holding a tile, I can feel its shape in my hands and my eyes can see the image emerge. I like that I am working with something concrete that has both contour and weight.

The tray I have made is simple and naïve. It suits the season and my mood. The childlike simplicity allows me to play for a while and contemplate what will come next. Within it is the promise of growth. It allows for something larger and considered to emerge in my mind.

And it will, when the time is right.

10 thoughts on “Mosaics”

  1. Oy vey! I do understand the need to smash.
    Despite the fact that I share little of your original and honest, beautiful TRUE Christian and Buddhist background, every word you write and kindly share with us goes right to my heart. So much so that sometimes what you write and kindly share leaves me speechless (a truly difficult achievement if you ask my long suffering husband🤣)

    That is why sometimes I find it difficult to comment on some wonderful things you have written. Your words go right to my heart dear Vicki. Please never stop writing and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Necef, that is very kind of you. Sometimes I do wonder why I keep writing but the answer to that is because I have to. It does make a difference to know that there is an audience out there who appreciate what I do. xxx


  2. You make philosophy with your hands then put it into words. I love this transformation and how productively you deal with the blows life doles out.



    Liked by 1 person

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