Going with the Flow: Participant Artists Learn About Cutting Techniques and Andamento

In the month of February, Piece by Piece workshops focused on andamento, a mosaic term that means the visual flow and direction of a mosaic, created by the cutting and placement of the pieces or tesserae into patterns. As an introduction, artists practiced cutting vitreous tile and forming a quilt-like series of designs into a single artwork.

Exercises in this technique increase understanding of spatial relationships, methods of cutting, and project planning. Each andamenti is based on traditional patterns often used to fill the backgrounds of large ancient mosaics made in by early mosaicists. Some of the patterns include keystoning, herringbone, and “crazy paving”. Every artist was up to the challenge and quickly picked their favorites and the hardest (herringbone by a landslide).

More modern styles of andamenti bring this technique to the forefront and can be instrumental in developing an individual voice in mosaic. This first step of understanding and practice was already visible in everyone’s individual work and their practice will only make their talents shine more.
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