Monday, October 17, 2011

Keeping Traditional Mosaic Art Alive

From time to time we like to highlight some of the talented people who make handmade products right here in Jordan. Earlier this year we were able to learn more about Gadara Design which makes lovely mosaic pictures, stoneware, and boxes using ancient techniques. Samer founded Gadara Design in 1996 after working in Madaba restoring mosaics and later working for the Ministry of Tourism. The name Gadara comes from the ancient name of Um Qais which Samer visited each week as a child. Um Qais and the surrounding area is well known for its antiquities.

Gadara currently employs 70 talented people who make the mosaics. Typically only 10% of the people who start training to create mosaics have the precision and skills necessary to succeed.

Employees actually work on the mosaics upside down. First designs are drawn onto a cloth, and the stones which are only 7 mm thick and cut into tiny pieces are carefully glued into place. Then the mosaic is placed upside down into a frame filled with cement. When the cloth is peeled off, the picture is seen for the first time from the correct side! After the stones are all flat and even, the mosaic is sealed. While mosaics can have many different colors, all of the stones are naturally found in different areas of Jordan: white from Ajlun, red and yellow from Jerash, black from Mafraq, and green from Madaba.

We are pleased to offer a selection of Gadara Design's work in our showroom, and we love supporting this traditional art form.

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