Since ancient times, the art of mosaic has played an important role in the decoration and artistic expression of homes, churches, and public places. The Greeks were the first to use the technique in their extensive use of pebble mosaics. They continued later by doing wall panels using marble and stone. The Romans followed using marble and glass. In fact, we see the use of mosaics throughout the world continuing on for centuries. Then the Aztecs finally brought the art to three-dimensional objects. During the Middle Ages the Byzantine Empire really flourished with their elaborate use of mosaic. In modern times, Gaudi in Spain, carried these techniques forward with his famous works in Barcelona and Niki de St. Phalle’s colossal architectural sculptures in Italy and the United States serve as lasting monuments to their creative energies.
I studied mosaic art in the beautiful city of Ravenna, Italy and believe some of the greatest mosaics in the world can be found there. Walls and ceiling vaults feature spectacular mosaic decoration of saints, kings and apostles, animals and plants. I discovered these mosaics on a trip to Italy during high school with my Italian Grandmother. The combination of art, decoration and architecture was a magical revelation to me, and a turning point in my artistic career.