How fast can you work?

July 10, 2016

The following text is from my last newsletter and I think it’s worth repeating here as it does give us an idea of just how fast a Roman floor mosaic could be laid. The full newsletter can be accessed here.
To answer the question of how fast can you work we need to look at how fast we think the mosaicists from the time of Rome worked. What is the first thing that you see about a Roman floor mosaic? Well………it’s on the floor! This should give us a clue about how they viewed them, art or craft? It has to be a craft, in much the same way as we consider how to get our bathrooms tiled. Even the Alexander mosaic was on the floor, not on a wall as something you’d spend time over in contemplation. Yes, there were those that made a statement, usually about the owner, their level of education, (look at my mosaic with scenes from Greek mythology, I must be well educated!), their ability to spend large amounts of money but mostly, I believe, they were just part of the architecture. 

As part of the fabric of the building they needed to be completed within a certain time, nobody would have a villa built and then be ready to wait a year for the mosaics to be done. When you work to recreate a Roman mosaic now then I firmly believe that it is not just the application of the Rules which makes it Roman, but also the way in which you work. You need to have a set rate of work, not fast, but a steady speed that allows you to complete similar mosaics in the same time, every time. 
How often do you go back and correct mistakes? Some mistakes you have to correct, not many though. Mostly on noticing them your attitude should be, ‘I’ll learn from that and not repeat it but it doesn’t matter enough for me to take up the extra time needed to go back and redo it’. Look at the original mosaics and see how many areas you think would benefit from a bit of tidying up and you’ll be surprised to see how rough some of the mosaics actually are when you get up close.

You should be able to lay 0.8 – 1 square metre a day, labour was never an issue in the Roman Empire with it being a slave economy  so you could have five teams working in a villa, that’s five square metres a day. The idea of the mosaics for a villa taking over a year seems very improbable. 
Set your standard of work, stick to it and then you’ll find your work speed. 

If you want to know more about the Rules in Roman mosaics then you can find my online courses here.

February newsletter

February 17, 2016

Here’s the link to the newsletter for February. There’s the usual news plus a couple of short articles on mistakes and colours in border mosaics,

New playlist on the Youtube channel

December 16, 2015

I’ve created a playlist on my Youtube channel so all the mosaics concerning the ‘Roman mosaics in miniature’ kits are now in one place.  There are the videos on each kit there is one on cutting the tesserae down to 5mm.

These kits are now all available through Hobby Island,

5mm petals and leaves-500x500

Free online course in the Borderline Rule in Roman mosaics

August 29, 2015

Now out, a free online course which explains what the Borderline Rules is and why Roman mosaics have them.
There’s no charge, and it will only take about 30 minutes to go through, just sign up for the newsletter and you can get access straight away. I’m putting this one out so people can understand how important these Rules are to making what can be correctly termed a ‘Roman’ mosaic.

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge

August 19, 2015

I’m just off to the museum to take part in a ‘Meet the Romans’ event.

If you’ve come here after picking up one of my cards then the best place to watch is my Facebook page for details of the mosaic kits and children’s Roman mosaic information

There will also be a new website up soon, you can join the newsletter and be kept up to date with developments. Your details are safe and will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any time

Back at work!

August 15, 2015

I’m back from my short break now so will be posting again. I’m using this blog site while I decide what to do with the websites etc. The main part of what I do now is around the online courses as I can reach many more people and the shop side was taking up more time than I had. I’m working on the Teaching courses and there will be the Working with Stone course up soon. This will be another free course.

Latest newsletter

August 12, 2015

The latest newsletter is out, if you want to receive if, sign up and i’ll send a copy out to you by email. This edition has news plus articles on setting a double guilloche border pattern on a square and evidence of guidelines in Roman mosaics. Your details will never be sold on and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Villa Arianna

Villa Arianna