There it is – the last fish figure for the AYVALIK MOSAIC.
I almost procrastinated its finalization. These figures have been living with me for almost a year now. Every day I looked at them, checked the original photo against my copy, looked closely at single areas again and again, especially the fins. I always underestimated these little things. Yesterday it took me a whole day to put them and the contour line around the whole figure. I worked for eight hours solid until my eyes would not see and my fingers could not grip the little tesserae anymore.
These mosaics are lines that interact with each other in shape and color. Beautifully crafted lines and carefully chosen colors and their contrast to each other are making these figures look so amiable and pleasant.
Now the work is more mechanical, setting the background tesserae and finally installing the mosaic. I am very nervous about the latter as I have not done it in such a scale before.
I don’t know how on earth these people 2000 years ago could manage to put mosaic floors of more then 20m2 down. They must have had an army of workers cutting stone and laying them!
Next weeks I will hopefully have 2 helpers for the background so that I can concentrate on making little trial tiles to practice putting mosaic on a wall.
Any advise from more experienced mosaic crafters are welcome! Please use the comments section or contact me on the website.
But now its carnival in Brasil!
I am looking forward to relax my tired eyes in the colorful costumes,
my stiff neck in the rhythms of the different bands
and my far to tense mind in the company of people that just want to have fun for 4 days.
(For my German speaking readers, that are interested in the refugee crisis, please find this letter with a report about the situation in Lesbos in pressing on the link)
The second week in the studio went fast with lots of progress.
Dolphin’s head finished with the contour line. This is one line around the figure in background color. It helps to emphasize the figure. This technique can be found in greek and roman mosaics.
When looking at the dolphins head I am so amused that it looks so Disney like! Did Disney maybe had a look at these mosaics before he created his figures?
I started with the last figure – a long, mainly gray fish with vigilant eyes. Nusret Bey taught me to make the eyes first, to give the figures a soul at the beginning.
And I glued the Dolphin and parts of his tail fin onto MDF board. In the picture you can see it with weights from boxes full of marble. On Monday it should be ready for the background tesserae to be put on.
It has been very cold in Turkey and in Ayvalik too the past week so building work had to rest for a while.
This lets me think of the situation of Syrian refugees of which the majority lives in Turkey. Ayvalik and its surroundings play a role in the faith of refugees. From there a lot of men, women and children leave in small boats or dinghies for the greek island of Lesbos which is only 2h boat ride away over the sea. The photo I posted already last week is the view from Ayvalik’s waterfront over to Lesbos.
When the sea is calm like this the boats might succeed. But imagine in storm or at the freezing temperatures of the past week ….
When we visited Ayvalik, in the 4 days we spent in the small town, public life of Ayvalik would not hint anything about refugees in the city and their dramatic situations.
Only in speaking to some shopkeepers we heard empathetic remarks about the misery of the whole situation of the refugees.
Meanwhile the Turkish government has issued a general work permit for Syrian refugees and the permission for employers to employ up to ten Syrian immigrants in their businesses.
We will see if this regulation might reduce the numbers of people risking their lives for a better future on a boat ride between Ayvalik area and Lesbos.