The Path to
A difficult but most enjoyable journey
glass mosaic someone referred to as a "micromosaic," a term coined by
Sir Arthur Gilbert, inspired me to learn more about the artform. The journey had
begun. That crude little mosaic led me to
pictures of the micromosaics made in
trusted that if a person looked long and hard enough, she could find someone to
teach her just about anything; well, anything except how to make a micromosaic!
After many months of searching but not finding a master with whom to study, I
began looking for written resources. I poured through mosaic book after
mosaic book finding only a few scant passages about micromosaics, but not a clue
as to how to make them. Was the art form extinct?
helpful staff of The Rakow Library at the Corning Museum of Glass provided an
important stepping stone in my journey. With their help, I learned of The
Gilbert Collection and the nature of authentic fine-art micromosaics, often
referred to as Roman micromosaics. Jeanette Hanisee Gabriel, Curator of The
Gilbert Collection, had collected only three or four paragraphs of technical
information pertaining to the production of micromosaics which she had managed
to uncover after years of research. This provided but few clues as to how
these tiny treasures might have been made. The scarcity of information on
micromosaic technique was consistent with the Italian glass industry's tradition
of secrecy. Since then, Ms. Gabriel has published a wonderful book on
micromosaics in which an essay written by Judy Rudoe provides historical
information on some of the technical aspects of the production of micromosaics.
modern technical revival of the lost fine art of micromosaic occurred in my
studio over the course of some very intense years filled with innumerable
experiments and explorations of the properties of many materials.
Ever since my first encounter with a micromosaic, my desire has been to
create contemporary micromosaics of the finest quality.
Blessings of good fortune have guided my hard work and allowed me to
discover and in many cases reinvent all of the very specialized techniques that
constitute the production of a micromosaic, not least of which is the
manufacture of the highly specialized glass required to make the microtesserae
that find their place in my micromosaics.
journey began in 1995 inspired by photographs of micromosaics.
At the end of a three year immersion
in ”successful failures,” I made
my first micromosaic, "California Poppy," which I completed in
1998 after nine months. And so the journey continues as I learn
from and grow with an art form I truly love.
© 1998 - 2000 Laura Hiserote, all rights reserved.
last updated December 1, 2003