Mosaic tiles

"Pique Assiette" Mosaic Art

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About six years ago, I became interested in mosaic art. The correct term is is actually pique assiette, which refers to pieces of broken pottery and not tiles. The name pique assiette is derived from La Maison Picassiette, a house in France that is completely covered in mosaic art fashioned from pottery shards. It was the work of a man named Raymond Isidore, who devoted most of his life (for unknown reasons) to creating it.

I can't remember why I was interested in taking learning pique assiette, but I was recently reminded of it when I saw some photographs of someone's mosaic handiwork on a pair of chairs.

Mosaic art is quite an ancient art dating back to the Romans and later the Byzantine Empire, and the Moors who brought Mosaic art to Europe in the 8th century. It fell into obscurity until the early 20th century when there was a mini-revival in Barcelona by none other than one of my favorite architects, Antonio Gaudi. Gaudi is known for his organic architectural forms and use of concrete and mosaic tile work. For example, Parque Guell in Barcelona.

The New York City subway tunnels also contain their share of mosaic art, most of which was done in the early part of the 20th century when the major subway lines were built. Some of the mosaics have been restored and are quite lovely. Others remain in tunnels that are no longer used, hidden away from the public eye.

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