We feature a student of mosaic in each issue of the magazine. Amy Exton kicks things off!
What led you to study mosaic?
I’ve always wanted to learn (and hopefully one day master!) a traditional craft. I’m an interior designer and, often when putting designs together, I want to incorporate mosaic elements. So I thought it would be the perfect skill for me to try my hand at.
What course are you studying?
I’m studying the Mosaics Diploma at the London School of Mosaic. It was really important for me to actually study it properly, and not just completely self-teach, as I want to learn it inside and out. It’s also invaluable being surrounded by other people who are really passionate about mosaics and have such a wealth of knowledge on the subject. It’s a great little community and I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
What are you enjoying learning most about?
I’m specialising in ceramics as I want to create floors. Most of that I’m actually teaching myself in my studio, as we don’t cover ceramics in depth on the course. But I’m really enjoying learning how to use marble and smalti, as I probably wouldn’t have done so otherwise. And even though the materials and process are different to using ceramics, lots of the same rules apply so they’re transferrable to my own ceramic practice.
What and who inspires you in your mosaics?
One of my artistic heroes is William Morris – our work is worlds apart but I love his designs, and I’ve always been inspired by his role in the revival of the traditional crafts, and his belief in the beauty of the handmade. It really encouraged me to take up a traditional craft myself. Another huge inspiration is Zandra Rhodes, which I think can be seen much more clearly in my interiors. In terms of mosaic inspiration, I love the grand mosaic ceilings of churches with all their gold. And Eduardo Paolozzi’s London Underground mosaics always brighten up a commute.
Have you thought about what you might like to do after you finish your studies?
I’m in the process of setting up my own studio and I want to specialise in floor mosaics. In my interiors I’ve often hand-painted patterns onto the floors, so I’m hoping now to be able to elevate those designs as mosaics. I also plan on designing some mosaic furniture pieces. The ideas are flowing now that I’ve started, so it feels like the possibilities are endless.