Mosaics introductory: direct method
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VL366
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
- To develop practical skills in making mosaics using the direct method
- To develop creative skills associated with making mosaics
- To develop critical awareness in the appropriate use and exploration of materials and styles
- To explore the properties of the medium
- To build a basic knowledge and understanding of the world of mosaics.
What will we cover?
Your own ideas for content will be encouraged and you will need to bring visual source material or ideas as a starting point. The course will allow for each student to complete a mosaic using the direct method (other methods will also be covered). The sequential processes will involve the chopping of marble and cutting of glass, ceramic tiles or other matter including recycled material into appropriate shapes, and the adhesion of these materials onto a flat or non-flat base. We will look at different styles and how to achieve them through the shaping and placing of the tesserae. Themes such as tonal and size values, intermingling of colour and andamento (the coursing of rows of tesserae) in the mosaic idiom will be discussed.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Research and develop ideas for further projects
- Complete a mosaic on your own using the direct method
- Describe a range of expressive characteristics in the mosaic idiom
- Create or draw at least 3 different styles in mosaics
- Describe the at times contentious relationship between mosaics and painting in a historical context
More Advanced students will:
- Pursue personal project work in a chosen technique
- Explore more challenging ideas or techniques such as relief work or 3-dimensional surfaces.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is for beginners or for students who would like to continue exploring the medium.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, and-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
This course is supported by Google Classroom as a Virtual Learning Environment. When you log on you will be able to access course material, presentations and handouts etc. and may be asked to complete learner progress records. You can find help via the student help centre on the City Lit website.
Please note it is important that you sign up and log in to your course Google classroom prior to the first session. Joining details will be sent to you via email (check your junk/spam folder).
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Demonstrations, practical work on individual projects, informal group discussions, slides and books, individual tuition and, informal observations on other student’s projects.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Access to basic materials and resources are available as part of this course. Bring a notebook and pen or pencil to make your own notes. A selection of books on mosaics will be at the students’ disposal during the course. A materials allowance is included in the course fee which covers most of what is required on the course. Students will be required to bring in their own bases if needed, but may wish to discuss this first in the first lesson in order to make an informed choice (casting in concrete will not require a base). Students who would like to use smalti glass or a fair amount of vitreous tiles (a limited amount of the latter will be available on the course), or other materials, should bring their own. Suitability will be advised upon in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers mosaics courses throughout the academic year providing opportunities to experiment and develop your skills further and, to build up confidence to take on site-specific projects. Please browse the website to view our upcoming courses.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is also available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Fridays from 12:00 -14:00 then 16:00 -18:00.
Vanessa Benson is an artist who lives and works in London. She trained at Camberwell School of Art in Fine Art painting. She later lived in Italy for a number of years. There, she discovered her love for the Mosaic medium, training in Ravenna and Rome, with the great advantage of working on her teachers’ commissions, thereby gaining hands-on experience in working on large-scale projects. Returning to London, Vanessa started teaching Mosaics in Further Education in a number of colleges. The collaborative potential of Mosaics then led her to run Mosaic projects in schools and local communities, as well as teach other artists working in the community to run mosaic projects. She enjoys working with people at all levels of ability. Her relationship with the materials in Mosaics, particularly stone as in classical Roman mosaics, has led her to explore other media such as sculpture and animation.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.