Mosaic versus Collage

64 Arts

What’s the difference?

I suppose you could say that mosaic is made of tiles and collage is made of paper. Except mixed media artists all over would heartily disagree.

Digging through my Figure Drawing sketchbook I came across these pieces that, to me, could go either way:

Green Man Nature Collage

Green Man Nature Collage

Torn Paper Mosaic

Woman Kneeling Torn Paper 'Mosaic'

What’s your vote? Sure, the leaves and twigs and stuff that make up the Nature Collage don’t scream mosaic right off but why not? Are they not an assemblage of pieces making a single picture? Maybe it’s because they’re not spaced out as much and overlap more than sit side by side.

The torn paper definitely looks like a mosaic to me, and could even be a blueprint for a tile work. Hmmm. But just because it looks more like a traditional mosaic does it count? Here’s a hit: the white spaces that look like grout are actually the torn edges of white-core card stock.

So what I keep wondering is, is it the grout that makes the mosaic, the filling in of space, or is it the pieced together technique? I really don’t know.

*  *  *

Going back to the traditional a bit, I got out the supplies I picked up this weekend: one pre-fab kit (the heart) and one pieces and parts (the square) as well as extra stuff. The first step with these is to make the bases out of plaster and they’re just about ready to come out of their molds and dry overnight. I hope. The directions also say they can cure in the microwave (low for 3 minutes, rest for 1, repeat 2 more times) but I think I’ll try the low and slow method first and if they’re still tacky tomorrow then pop them in the microwave to finish them off. It also gives me time to figure out what I want to do for each of them.

Here’s my progress pictures so far:

Mosaic Supplies

Mosaic Supplies

Making the bases and a mess.

Making the bases (and a mess).

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