Pictured above: Mosaicked exterior seating
In the spotlight this time is Marie-Paule Pierson, a Diploma student at the London School of Mosaic, who works on mosaic commissions in France and the UK.
What led you to study mosaic?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist and would have gone in that direction as a teenager had it not been frowned upon. Instead, I chose a job as a technical translator and I carried on drawing and painting as a hobby. I owe my cousin Véronique the bug of mosaicking; her house is covered from floor to ceiling with tiles, mirrors, figurines and statues.
When my son broke a mirror, I decided to fill the broken sections with mosaic instead of throwing the mirror away. Next I started sticking recycled kitchen tiles, found ceramics and broken crockery to the walls and floors of my house. The pleasure of working with these materials and zen-like meditative state when mosaicking for hours led me to find a short course at the London School of Mosaic (LSoM). After that, I knew this was where I wanted my life to go. I gave up my 30-year job as a technical translator to enrol in the LSoM Diploma course and become a full-time mosaic artist.
What are you enjoying learning most about?
The first thing we learned at the LSoM was how to cut marble. I already had a hammer and hardie, but didn’t know the correct technique. I love the feel of marble, its characteristic smell, the different textures and densities and associated cutting methods. I find it warmer and more satisfying to work with than glass tiles.
What and who inspires you?
Lawrence Payne for his marble mosaics and his workshop teachings. He came to the LSoM to help us with ways to start our businesses. He is a great inspiration for my marble practice. I also love Gary Drostle’s style and vibrancy of colours. After seeing his work, and with no prior mosaic experience, I embarked on a 2×1-metre fish pond in my living room!
I live in Dollis Hill in London, but originate from Dieuze in the French county of Lorraine. Dieuze is set in striking countryside, where the varied greens and yellows of the fields create an ever-changing mosaic depending on the seasons and crops. I love walking through the filtered light of the forest and discovering secret ponds and clearings. The atmosphere is magical and this is where I get my inspiration for my art. I also enjoy walking or running with my dogs. As a long distance ultramarathoner, I’ve been lucky to visit places like Chile, Mongolia and Georgia. I’m training for the Last Desert Race in Antarctica in November, and I hope to bring back pictures and memories to fuel my mosaic passion.
What would you like to do after your studies?
I’d like to spend more time doing largescale recycled mosaics. I’d also love to exhibit and to have time to produce wild art, emulating the French artist Ememem, who repairs pavements in Lyon, France, and to decorate the urban landscape with mosaic life.