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Demonstration at the Country Craft Market on Saturday, 10 November 2012
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Mosaic design by Frieda van Zyl of Unique Mosaic


10 November 2012

demo details


Mosaic is an ancient craft or art form that uses small pieces of some or other material, to create a picture or pattern. Light and colour play important roles in the design of mosaics. Much as the impressionism artists did, mosaic uses dabs of colour to create a design that the eye joins up into the image that the artist has in mind.



The earliest known mosaics were of Mesopotamian origin, and were probably made during the 3rd millennium BC. The earliest mosaics were made from natural materials like stones, shells, bone, and even ivory. Only when glazed ceramic tiles, glass, and other man-made materials emerged, did mosaics take on the form in which it is still produced today.





While the earliest of mosaics depicted historic, folklore or natural images, with time, they became an important method of decoration, adding grandeur to the magnificent building of the ancient world. Even today, more ancient mosaic floors are being discovered, often in excellent condition. In our modern world, mosaic still retains all its fascination and has become the technique of decorators and artists alike. Frieda van Zyl is such a mosaic artist and produces useful and durable items of many kinds that bear her mosaic decorations, making them unique pieces of much beauty.


Wellington's Meercats

Frieda explains her craft





Mosaic art is my hobby, not my job. I have always loved doing workshops on a variety of crafts, and very early on I started experimenting with crafts such as mosaics. I enjoy creating patterns with brightly coloured glass tiles.






 My first mosaic creations were large table tops, and from there I experimented with wooden mirrors decorated with glass mosaic tiles. Very soon I didn't have enough space to keep all my mosaics, and so I decided to join the craft market.






Wellington's Meercats




The products I make include mostly handy, everyday items. Trays have become my all-time favourite, but I also make tissue and serviettes holders, jewellery and money boxes, and other decorations.




Mirrors are my other passion. I make themed mirrors, with abstract patterns in complementary but bold colour contrasts. My mosaics are meant to be a focus point in a room, or decorated centre pieces.







The craft can be time consuming and requires patients, planning and specialised tools and techniques. I work on wooden surfaces. The glass tiles are pasted onto the surface with cold glue. Once dry, the tiles are grouted with a stained grout which is treated with a water-proofing agent.




The inside surface of the trays I make are covered with a transparent resin to protect the grouted surface against spills and stains. The wooden products are then finally painted and varnished.






Wellington's Meercats







My inspiration can come from just about anywhere, a Lilly pond, daisy bush, China, fireflies or even a drape hanging in front of a pulpit.








Making mosaics is not difficult, anybody can do it. What makes your craft unique is the way you combine it artistically. This involves the choice of medium you work with (ceramics tiles, broken plates, coloured glass) and the surface you choose to work on.





Wellington's Meercats





Mosaics can be done on walls, doors, in cement (garden decorations, murals or paving) or moulded into vases and pots. The choices and possibilities are endless.




Frieda will be demonstrating her craft at the next Country Craft Market of 10 November. Come see her at work as the images in her mind emerge piece by piece onto her products. She will be happy to explain the process and will have a collection of her work on display.



more of Friede's work




tabletop detail





Last Updated 01 November 2017 16:11