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.


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.

New articles, pattern database etc

August 9, 2015

I have a number of new articles to go up and the host site for the Roman Mosaic Pattern Database is taking shape so there will be more news on those soon. I’m away at the moment and managed to leave my laptop charger behind hence I’ve not been posting much! More this weekend coming.

The Roman mosaic hammer and hardie – Free online course

August 6, 2015

I’ve just put together a free online course in using the hammer and hardie, the classic tools used for cutting marble for at least the last 2,000 years.

The course goes through, whether you actually need a set, what types there are, positioning from how you grip the hammer, different positions to sit and a lot more.

The course is free to enroll you just get added to the Roman mosaic newsletter list, you can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time and your email details are never shared with anyone else.

Here’s the link to the academy;

One of the drawings for the course

One of the drawings for the course

Roman mosaic course online

June 30, 2014

I’ve been busy adding to the Roman Mosaic Course website. I’ve a few more videos and patterns to load onto the Pattern Database and then it’s shoot some more for the course one.
With the Course website there will be a quick start guide and then each area will be covered in more detail which will include photos, line drawings and video. There are 6 patterns to choose from and if you’re on the newsletter list then there will be a special offer once it’s ready to go live!

References for Roman mosaic study

June 28, 2014

Due to the number of references that I have found over the years I’m not splitting the ‘References’ section into individual pages. The first to get its own page in ‘Contemporary writers on techniques and methods’. You can see the page here; 

New video, triple strand guilloche

June 27, 2014

The latest video shows how to draw out the triple strand guilloche border pattern. This geometric pattern is relatively simple once you see the pattern created by the centre tesserae. The second of three, after the third one all the others will just be going straight in to database. (