What is a Mosaic?
Mosaic is a type of art that involves creating a pattern from small objects like glass, shells, tiles, stones, and other materials. The early techniques used small objects that are available in different colors to make a shape or a pattern. But to add more color into a mosaic art form, one could also use paint and other coloring techniques which could be applied onto the material being used. In general terms, a mosaic looks like a completed puzzle piece with regular or irregular shapes forming a specific pattern or even an abstract shape.
Mosaic forms of art are very flexible decorative pieces. When using durable materials like stones and pebbles, this particular art form can be used in designing floors, much like typical tiling. The only difference is that tiling usually involves regular square or rectangular shapes, while mosaics may use irregularly shaped pebbles, stones, and even shells. For other materials such as glass, mosaics using this material are used as wall decorations. Some also use mosaics to design doors and drawers and other furniture around a house or a building.
The first known discovery of the use of mosaic dates back to the 3rd millennium BC wherein stones of different colors, shells, and ivory were used in the buildings in Mesopotamia. It is also said that mosaic patterns were first used during the Sassanid Empire and the Roman times. Mosaic art forms were also extensively used by Christian churches starting in the late 4th century. It was in these houses of worship that mosaics depicted religious themes and saints. Some churches also incorporated precious materials like gemstones and gold into mosaic pieces. In other parts of the world, mosaics were used as ornaments or as body armor. Like in countries in the Latin American region, mosaics were made of durable objects like stones and other precious metals.