Meander… “A circuitous journey or excursion”.

Picking up on the last post “Meandering with Piece by Piece: Part 1 , we’ll see how artists in Los Angeles made the sinuous journey, one curve at a time, through four workshops on geometric borders, known as ‘meander patterns’.

The artists created both smaller studies of traditional Greek Key patterns, and participated in creating a larger group project of a 3 x 5 foot mural to be offered for sale at their annual art sale, hands-on workshop and FUNDRAISER ON JUNE 4.

The Greek Key is a familar pattern but figuring out the variations can take a bit of concentration. It’s all about the counting!

Careful planning and counting for the mural's Greek Key border

As a visiting instructor for the mosaic training program, I put together a lesson plan that would marry the ancient and classic techniques  while using modern glass materials. We used a spectrum of vitreous glass tile donated by Maryland Mosaics to make our Greek Key borders. This program was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Everyone at Piece by Piece ready to get started on the meander borders

Individual studies and variations of the Meander pattern


Individual Variations


The Meander

Made by Loving Hands

Making progress now...

I was working at the J. Paul Getty  Museum, Getty Villa, offering artist demonstrations and gallery tours on their permanent mosaic collection, so we arranged a Field Trip to the Villa so everyone could learn a bit about Roman mosaics and get a personal experience with the real ancient works.

Lillian discusses the borders of the Roman Boxer mosaic with the group at Getty Villa

During our Field Trip the participants got inspired to add shells to their mural border, in the tradition of the  Great Fountain found in Pompeii, which you see below reproduced in the East Garden of the Villa.

The Great Fountain embellished with shells ~ and beautiful artists!

To round out the classical training, I gave a clinic on how to cut with Hammer and Hardie, the traditional tools of classical mosaic making. Everyone did a great job!

Victor cuts stone with the Hammer and Hardie

The mural took shape over the four Monday lessons, and by the last class the Key border was finished in terra cotta, white and blue tiles, embellished with the natural shells. Each corner has a different pattern, created by a different artist.  
An unexpected bonus was learning that José M., a Piece by Piece regular, enjoyed working with the patterns so much, he was inspired to create an original table with meander motifs and the ancient sea themes. It’s really rewarding to know that the lessons are motivating artists in new directions. He sent pictures and said:
“Hola Lillian, gracias por compartir tus conocimientos con nosotros de piece by piece.  
Ya termine mi mesa y queria que la vieras.”
(Hi Lillian, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us at piece by piece. 
I just finished my table and wanted you to see it)

I encourage you to take a look at Piece by Piece Flickr page and to purchase some great mosaic works to help support this fantastic training program!

Thanks to Sophie Alpert and Dawn Mendelson for inviting me to participate once again!



MORE PHOTOS HERE  from Piece by Piece showing the many stages of our classes.



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