I was doing some Christmas shopping yesterday in Exeter, and trying to find a cd for my son. On scanning the aisles, from quite a distance my eye caught onto this cd ( you may have heard that the eye seeks faces in all kinds of surface, but in the eye of a mosaic artist one only seeks mosaic!)
Of course I had to buy it (I am a sucker for buying a book for its cover, a chocolate for its wrapper, coffee for its packaging!) I am familiar with and love “Summertime” and “It ain’t necessarily so” but not the rest of Porgy and Bess so also thought it would be educational for me .
However the nicest surprise for me was that the mosaic on the cover was made by Joseph Young. ….Actually it took me a while, I knew I had heard his name somewhere. I looked on the internet for some of his work and found several pieces. Large murals in Los Angeles. They looked familiar ……searching through my collection of mosaic books I found a lovely old one that I had found several years ago in a second hand shop. Joseph Young was the author of the book – it is called “Mosaics: Principles and Practice” written in 1963. It is a fascinating book outlining tools, materials, cutting and colour and explains processes to install large mosaics with many photos and drawings. It is a shame that not all the photos in colour, many are black and white, but the late 50’s and early 60s designs and layout of the book somehow make up for this. Young has also sections of the book dedicated to other artists who work with unconventional methods. Artists who use translucent glass and plastics, terrazzo mosaics and coloured sand. There is even a bit about “Thread mosaics” (It seems to be a good alternative name for textile art!)
I found a link to buy the book but I cannot endorse the website – if you trust it buy it, it’s a great read!http://www.populuxebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=75_83&products_id=402
Joseph Young died in 2007 of pneumonia secondary to Alzheimer’s. He was 87.
If anyone has any photos of his work I can post here please let me know, but for now you can see some on this link:
His facebook fan page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joseph-L-Young-Fan-Page/291628026787?fref=ts