glass mosaics

The History of Glass Mosaics

Mosaic glass has been appreciated as a form of art and decoration for thousands of years. The first known form of mosaic glass appeared in Egypt around 1400 B.C. Since that time, this beautiful form of glass has been produced for more than 3,500 years. The technique of creating mosaic glass began to rise in popularity in various areas of glass production. It was often seen in Hellenistic art as well as in art produced in Rome and Alexandria during the fourth century. It is believed that Islamic people duplicated the Roman examples of mosaic glass art which helped the glass to regain its popularity in recent years.

Throughout the years the tradition of creating mosaic glass art has been interrupted at different stages, causing the glass to be reinvented in a variety of ways. The glass mosaics that were created during the 15th century in Venice are very different from the European 19th century mosaics.

While it is not very difficult to create glass mosaics, the process can be very time-consuming. Small pieces of glass are sliced from large canes that are developed by gathering glass of various colors around a core. Each piece of glass features a cross-section pattern from the original cane. In order to create a mosaic art vessel, pieces of glass, often referred to as roundels, are taken from different individual canes and arranged together on a disk. Then the disk is heated and molded into an object of the artist’s choosing. Once it has cooled, smoothed and polished, most vessels are embellished with a unique pattern. The Islamic bulls-eye is a very popular pattern that can be seen on many mosaic art pieces that are still around today. This pattern displays a collection of colorful rings that resemble a bull’s eye. Each color is alternating which helps to create a one of a kind, whimsical look.

Mosaic glass art has been cherished for many years and is still sought after by interior designers and other collectors who would love to add this type of ancient art to their homes. You can find mosaic glass in the shape of bowls, plates and vases.