The Ayvalik Mosaic – grouted and ready to be used!
The aim of this project was to decorate a room in a restored greek townhouse in Ayvalik at the norther aegean coast of Turkey with a mosaic. This newly build multi purpose bath room which is accessible from the garden and from the house has features of a turkish bath/hamam: a heated floor, heated marble benches and walls but also serves as a water play area of the patio in summer and a second shower room for the 6 bed holiday house.
Fascinated by the beauty of antik mosaics I wanted to recreate some of the decorative elements of an antik mosaic to appear in our modern life today again. And I wanted to give this mosaic the purposes that mosaics originally were created for:
a practical purpose of covering a floor to be better walked on, water to be better drained from the floor into a drain system and the floor to be better cleaned,
a decorative purpose to add color and designs to the raw walls and
a communicative purpose to give a reason for the observers to think and talk about the figures in the mosaic.
The latter has already started with humor. I was offered a fishing rod by a friend to go fishing in my aquarium :), some people were trying to identify the kinds of fish and we were wondering if Walt Disney got his inspiration from the dolphin figure. Also one speaks about the techniques of the mosaic making.
The choice of material, limestone and marble, came because they offer the color range that the original figures are made in. It turns out to be a perfect fit in the total composition with the other floor and wall materials of the surroundings of the mosaic.
The practical use will be seen with time.
Please take a short re-cap with me of the amazing story of THE AYVALIK MOSAIC now:
There is the poseidon mosaic in the Zeugma Mosaik Museum in Gaziantep/Southern Turkey. The mosaic originates from the archeological site of Zeugma, at the banks of the river Euprates 30km east of Gaziantep. It was made in the 3rd century AD together with many other amazingly beautiful mosaics.
From a photo of the mosaic some figures of the sea creature were taken and newly arranged on photo shop for the decoration of a shower room with turkish bath features of a newly restored greek house in Ayvalik, at the northern aegean coast of Turkey.
No material has been bought, it was all found on the ground. Rocks were collected at the bank of the Euphrates river, lime stone in different colors found in the collection of the Gaziantep mosaic workshop and marble collected on waste heaps of marble manufactories all over Turkey.
Then cut into discs of 1cm
and further broken with the hydraulic stone breaking machine
until finally these parts were broken into cubes of about 1cm3 with hammer and hardie.
By skilled mosaic masters in the hidden workshop of Nusret Osdemir in the heart of Gaziantep the first sea creatures of the poseidon mosaic were reborn during long hours in the scorching heat of south eastern Turkey in July/August.
In August in Sarimsak near Ayvalik at the longest sandy beach of the Turkish aegean coast already in the breeze of the sea thousands of background tesserae were prepared from 6 different rocks and marbles in beige tones.
At the end of September 50kg of marble and lime stone tesserae went on a trip to Brasilia.
There they were assembled into wall tiles from October till February by enthusiastic brasilian mosaic artists.
End of February Brasilia art lovers admired these mosaics in roman style at the opening of the mosaic moments studio in Brasilia.
The 7 wall tiles of about 40x40cm and a weight of 36 kg travelled in 2 suitcases from Brasilia via Sao Paolo and Istanbul back to Ayvalik to be reunited with the floor figures and be installed in a garden shower room.
The mosaic figures from Gaziantep were taken out of the storage and prepared with contour lines.
more marble was broken into tesserae
the room was prepared in long lasting mortar work
mosaic parts were measured and measured and altered again and again and again until they fitted perfectly
then finally on March 17 the wall parts were mounted on the fronts of the hamam benches
and the mounting paper and board removed after two days
Then the floor was prepared for the installation of the floor figures
And these figures installed on March 24
Again after 2 days on March 26 these figures were uncovered by the most enthusiastic helpers overall
and the areas in between the figures were filled by setting the tesserae directly into the cement
Then finally the mosaic was grouted on April 7
Now these wonderful creatures are ready to be used in summer as a garden – water play area and on colder days as a hamam. You are all invited to enjoy the mosaic under your feet, touch it and live with it like in roman times as a guest at the Ayvalik Mosaicli Ev. In a short while the house will be up for rent. Please contact www.manzara-ayvalik.com for enquiries.
Without the following people I would not have succeeded, I am very grateful I had the chance to work with:
During the design phase in Ankara and Ayvalik in May/June 2015: Kutalmis Görkay, Firat Aykac The Cahill family, Kay, Nick, Nora and Phoebe During the material collection phase in Ayvalik in June 2015: Evren Agabeyoglu, Turgut Bekisoglu, Miriam Engstrom, Ali Ihsan Basöz, Hassan Gül During the floor figure production phase at Gaziantep Mosaic Workshop of Nusret Özdemir in July/August 2015: Nusret Özdemir,Tahir Köroglu, Ayse Ebru Corbaci During the background stone breaking phase at Sarimsak beach house in September 2015: Mustafa Salih Kamanlioglu, Tulya Madra During the wall part production phase at mosaic moments studio Brasilia October 2015 - Februar 2016: Alina d'Alva Duchrow, My family: Martin, Hillary, Emil, Charlotte Louise, Kilian Raiser Cida Carvalho, Lidia, Robson, Laura Anduze During the installation phase in Ayvalik in March/April 2016: Ümit, Rifat Kaya, Nasuh, Yusuf Usta, Monika, Elfriede Dann, Berkan Karaduman, Kudret, Derya, Dirk Schaefer
Tebrikler! Your persistence has paid off. My favorite figure is the one (an eel?) that spans from the wall to the floor.
I am so proud of my wife Gertrud Müller for persevering and gifting us this wonderful work. I will miss the weekly blogs, the drama and excitement of each project stage – but I am also glad it is finished and can now simply be enjoyed. Thank you darling !
Dear Gertrud, I’m in awe of what you have accomplished–not only you learned a new craft from scratch but you mastered in a relatively short period of time. And you persisted in your efforts to complete and instal the piece. It’s a beautiful piece of art and you should be very proud. I am eager to see what your next adventure will be. –miriam
Vielen Dank für diesen Rückblick. Ein langer Weg mit einem tollen Ergebnis! Ich freue mich schon darauf, dort barfuss zu sitzen und die müden Füße zu verwöhnen. Elfriede