Christ, detail. Orthodox icons seek to unite opposites, to preserve paradox. In this mosaic, based on a famous work in Constantinople, Aidan Hart Mosaics combines contrasting eyebrow shapes to express both the gentleness and the power of Christ.
Archangel Michael, detail. The staff represents the archangel’s power and authority, while the orb inscribed with Christ’s name symbolizes his wisdom, for he clearly sees Christ’s providence in the world.
Commissioned for the apse of a private chapel, this mosaic shows the Mother of God as the throne of God incarnate. We do not make straight copies, but drawing on the rich tradition of mosaic iconography we design each work specifically for the client and its place. We aim to unite richness with subtlety, gravitas with joy.
Produced for St Martin’s Church of Wales in Cardiff, this exterior mosaic sits above the church’s north door. It was commissioned to be mission through beauty to all those passing by, and to those waiting at the busy bus stop opposite. Mosaic is very durable, and an excellent medium for exterior use.
Christ Pantocrator, after installation. Their durability and brilliance make mosaics perfect for outdoor use. If there is danger of frost, we set the tesserae flatter than usual and grout the joins to stop water ingress.
Made primarily by Martin Earle, this work was commissioned for a small private chapel. Because it was to be viewed close up, we made the tesserae particularly small, around 5mm (1/4”) square, and even finer for the flesh areas.
Virgin Mary Enthroned, detail. Good icons and mosaics use a degree of abstraction in order to 'draw out' and express something of the spiritual state of those depicted. The face of the Theotokos in this mosaic, with its wide-open eyes, suggests her contemplative nature.
Virgin Mary enthroned, detail. In this mosaic Christ’s garments are earth red to indicate His humanity, and gold to represent His divinity. The scroll is His judgement, withheld until the Last Day. Before that Day, by repentance we can change what is written upon on it.
Virgin Mary Enthroned, detail. In Orthodox painted icons Mary is usually shown in red and blue, but in their mosaics she is usually depicted in blue only, as the Queen of Heaven and regal Mother of the King of all.
Face of Christ, detail. In our studio we aim for that perfect imperfection that is a hallmark of great mosaics. Notice how on the one hand great care has been spent cutting and placing tesserae to mesh together the pinks and the flesh, and on the other, how the cutting is not mechanical, but allows a certain variety.
Eye of Pantocrator, detail. Following Byzantine mosaic tradition, we use the direct method for wall mosaics so we can create a pleasing variation in the angle of the tesserae.
Christ, detail. Sometimes surprisingly strong coloured tesserae are used in mosaic, to be seen at a distance. In this mosaic the reds are juxtaposed with complementary greens for shadows, made of rare semi-translucent smalti.
Left hand of Christ Pantocrator, detail. Notice the combined use of checker boarding and graduated shades to model the hand.
Face of Christ, detail. With over thirty years experience as a professional Orthodox icon painter, Aidan Hart brings a wealth of experience to his mosaics.
Garment of Christ, detail. As in icons, Byzantine and Roman mosaics often include gold lines called assist in their garments. This suggests the transfiguration of the whole material world, along with mankind its priest, prophet and king.
Archangel Michael, detail. At our studio we aim for the finest and most appropriate mosaic for each client. In this work we used particularly small tesserae, since the work was to be seen close up in a small private chapel.
Archangel Michael garment, detail. At Aidan Hart Mosaics we use only the best materials, be they handmade glass smalti from Orsoni, Venice, gold tesserae from Murano, or stones from around the world.
Hand, detail. When considering who will make your mosaic, look closely for quality. A mosaic will be around for a long time. Many commercial workshops will use the quickest method, without considering the aesthetics.
Archangel Michael, detail. The angel’s eyes follow us wherever we stand, for angels are with us to help and guide wherever we are. The flapping headband symbolizes the angels’ quick obedience to the Lord’s commands.
This dome mosaic was created for a private chapel. Because it was to be seen close up, we used smaller than usual tesserae, around 5mm (1/4”) square. Each artistic medium has its unique characteristics, and at Aidan Hart Mosaics we make the most of the medium’s features. We set the rows of tesserae(called andamenta) to move rhythmically, and angle each one to gain the maximum dance of light.
Christ’s hand, the Pantocrator, detail. The Greek term Pantocrator, usually translated as All Powerful, also means to hold all things. In this hand we therefore emphasize the spread and hold of His majestic hand, for the Lover of Mankind is more the creative and caring artist than the overbearing despot.
Blessing right hand, detail. Made largely by our colleagues in Ravenna, this mosaic displays a masterful use of colour. Note how the colour of the finger outlines vary, the shades darkening towards the base of the digits.