This was my third piece for the Mosaic Odysseys festival.
I love the story of the four winds in Homer’s Odyssey.
Aeolus, keeper of the winds gave Odysseus a bag of wind bound up with silver thread to help him on his journey. He stored it safely on the ship and at first it was only the fair west wind that blew. However Odysseus’ men believed it to be full of gold and silver so they opened the bag and let out the four winds … “They loosed the sack whereupon the wind flew howling forth and raised a storm that carried us weeping out to sea and away from our own country” (The Odyssey – book X by Homer)
The Four Winds or “Anemoi” were the wind gods. Boreas was the north wind god bringing cold winter winds, Zephyrus was the west wind god bringing spring and summer breezes, Notos was the south wind god who brought later summer and autumn storms and Eurus was the east wind god bringing warm winds and rain.
After a few rough sketches I came up with another rough one …
Uh oh! Did you notice my mistake? I got east and west the wrong way around which might explain why I get lost so easily in big cities (or anywhere really!) My map reading is hopeless and if I drive or walk somewhere new I have real trouble reversing the directions to get back. I think it is a kind of map dyslexia!
Luckily I noticed before I started the mosaic so was able to flip the design!
I started with Eurus , the east wind. To hide the cut edges of the deep foil backed glass I cut the rain drops from, I built up the cement adhesive in between to lay the hand gilded silver metal leaf glass and mirror. Then stained glass was laid on edge either side of the rain drops.
For Notos, the south wind, I used a mixture of marble, stone, ceramic and gold lipped oyster and a little silver leaf glass to depict storm clouds.
I used warm colours of Italian smalti glass and milliefiori flowers for Zephyrus, the spring west wind, the gentle curves in the design imitating the gentle breezes.
I imagined the Boreas wind would look like cold silver and white snakes, and I used smalti, hand gilded silver leaf glass, Italian silver leaf glass, vitreous glass tile, and gold lipped oyster shell.
Just like the other two mosaics the bird is made of Italian gold leaf glass.
You might notice I laid some mirror tile below the tail of the bird. This was because I was going to use transparent rods to illustrate the Notos wind coming from the storm clouds but I changed my mind, it didn’t work and I ended up using slate and smalti laid on edge with silver leaf glass as the bolt of lightning.
I grouted the work in different shades of grey, Zephyrus was a paler grey than the rest in dark charcoal and I left the slate and marble sections ungrouted.
The Mosaic Odysseys Festival
The first exhibition is now over at the Hellenic Centre in London.
I was delighted to sell all three works I made.
I will be making some new work for the next two exhibitions of this wonderful mosaic odyssey!
The festival will move onto Athens at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation from September 9th to September 18th.
The final exhibition will be at the Muncipal Art Gallery of Mykonos, starting 23rd September and finishing 3rd October.
Exhibiting artists –
Greek artists :
Ioannis Touliatos, Artemis Klitsi, Eftychia Finou, Vasso Spanou, Lydia Papadopoulos, Alexandros Bassadis,
Dugald MacInnes, Nathalie Vin, Aliyahgator, Arianna Puntin, and myself.
Have a look at our website here
Thank you to Artfinder for publicity and for sponsoring our printing costs!