3 min read

My love of mosaic floors started in France but was cemented
on a recent trip to Pompeii …

 I convinced my other half that a mosaic floor was an essential element of the entrance to our Byron warehouse - he stood by me as I lost my mind sourcing the right tiles, the tools & creating the artwork for this folly!

So many things about our move north have been serendipitous, but none more so than meeting Jane from Villarustica.  Little did I know that Jane was a passionate creator of mosaics & like me loved the traditional style.  Jane had the skill & the know-how to make it a reality...now I just needed to create the artwork. 
  *First up I hand-wrote it in chalk on the floor and then copied it onto tracing paper.
*Back in the studio Jane traced over it in black texta and transferred it onto mesh.   
*The size, shape of the script and the flow of the font was critical to the design. 


Jane took me under her wing, and I became her most diligent student. A firm friendship was forged  – along with sore backs and tired hands. 
Learning this hand-crafted skill was demanding on the body with countless hours spent shaping tiny tiles; gripping, cutting, grinding and gluing. But there was plenty of laughter and a few glasses of rosé eased the pain ...  

 Hours turned into days as we toiled away in her recently completed studio and I fell in love with the Rafa & new arrival Roger...

Mosaic making is an ancient art form, images are created from colored glass, stone, or other materials; the earliest known mosaic was discovered in Mesopotamia in the second half of 3rd millennium BC. It is pain staking work with each piece being cut by hand, the right tools are essential as is an attention to detail. Handy traits for those keen to try it.

 Like any repetitious practice there is a kind of a quiet meditation as your mind focuses solely on the art of doing it.  

I had seen brass banding used in old floors in France and thought it would frame  Byron Bay perfectly.  Sourcing some brass at the last minute, I aged it in the workshop and then booked in the tilers.  Finally the guys in pink shirts arrived, ready to work their magic on this rather complicated mosaic floor. Thanks Decorated Earth it looks awesome!


Slowly the letters became words and the phrase that we shaped from some random French graffiti we saw on our last night in Rome appeared like an apparition. (Read about that night in Rome here)   
French friends explained zzat it roughly translatesto live on love and fresh water’ the expression being  ‘Vivre d’amour et d’eau fraîche’.
From this hybrid of words came Love & the Sea Are Free.
It was the answer that we’d been seeking.

There is no doubt that I was an apprentice and Jane was the master. I think at times she may have pulled apart some of my work when I finished for the day 😊 As my vision turned into reality, I felt lucky that she had said yes to such a large commission. If you fancy learning about mosaics keep an eye on our upcoming workshops or get in touch with Jane at Villarustica


We look forward to seeing you in our new/old warehouse -
don't forget to look down!


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