My original idea was this mosaic should reflect the sunlight, so even if I was not sure yet of what to design, I was pretty sure that it had to reflect the sun light , in my artistic carrier this means only one thing, byzantine technique, but still, what kind of byzantine? I have also thought to make the mosaic directly on the wall of the church but this would mean double the costs of materials , shipping, manufacturing and so on, so, as the mosaic is almost always built in the artist’s studio , I have conceived a technique to make a byzantine mosaic directly in my studio. And when the idea of the two Saints in the sides and the Italian landscape in the middle of them, was more clear I started to create my artwork.I made a design with pencil with lines and no chiaroscuro, I ready knew in my mind which were the areas of shadow, light and colors ,so, I enlarged my design to the measure of 112 cm X 240 cm, the measurements above the door of church.
I put the enlarged sketching over a big table I have in my studio, over the sketching I put a sheet of transparent plastic , over the plastic I put a net of fiberglass and ,I pinned firmly the three surfaces and I started to cut the stones ,I begin with the Tuscan landscape, with cypresses and corn fields, green and yellows, as a thinset I used Kerabond and isolastic by Mapei , and I inserted each stone of the landscape at a different inclination to reflect the sunlight , the result was spectacular, I inserted freckles of gold tesserae like Gino Severini ,the Futurist painter, used to do, and the result was great. Once finished the landscape I started to make the two Saints. In Los Angeles I could finally meet Father Luigi Piran ,he is a very nice guy, full of enthusiasm and willingness to to make new projects, I met other people in the church have ,Padre Luigi Gaston, Cipriano and Michelle, all of them have been very nice and ospitl with me, I will never forget Filomena a nice Italian lady who used to cook for the priests and me every day,she cooks in the Italian way and because of her i never missed home
This mosaic was executed with the technique of DIRECT METHOD ON FIBERGLASS
Used for the construction of wall mosaics this technique allows to exploit the characteristics of the material due to the refraction of light, the different inclination of the stones and its various thicknesses.
This technique allows you to work in the laboratory by splitting the sketch into sections numbered and reassembled on site during installation.
It is possible to work in your studio and then pack each section and ship it in the appropriate boxe for the transport.
It is possible to produce mosaics of considerable size using a network of glass fiber fine mesh as a support, on which the tiles – tesserae will be pasted following the cartoon previously zoomed in actual measurement. Arranged on a table in the cartoon actual measurement, to avoid that the adhesive will stick to the wiping drawing, it is laid a layer of clear plastic above the cartoon ,on the clear plastic I have positioned the fiber network of fiberglass.I could therefore start to work by coating a suitable glue following lines and contours visible and below i proceeded to manual cutting of the tiles in the mortar sinking according to my own creativity.
When the mosaic was over , i could re-glue it with the same thinset to the wall of St’ Peter’s church