The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook

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9781552977842: The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook
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Extensive guidebook to a popular and rapidly growing craft.

Many of us have walked the squares of Venice, Rome and Madrid and admired the geometric pavements of pebble mosaics. Made from found stones, and as beautiful as they are durable, pebble mosaics are a welcome addition to gardens, patios, and public spaces.

The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook is the most complete sourcebook for enthusiasts and landscape designers -- an accessible and illustrated guide that covers materials, design, tools and techniques.

The book lists the best sources to find or buy pebbles; how to choose and test pebbles for strength and quality; and which materials to avoid. There are practical instructions for ensuring the mosaic can withstand frost, foot and vehicle traffic, pollutants, and water.

The book explains in detail the principles of creating walkways and patios, precast slabs, fountains, pools, and cascades. Illustrated sample projects are followed step-by-step. Designing is also fully explained whether using simple sketches or professional graphic design software.

A showcase of pebble mosaic from around the world by leading artists demonstrates the craft's vast creative potential. In addition, a section of design ideas features many popular subjects and patterns including animals, heavenly bodies, spirals, borders, floral, fish, flowers, and many more.

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About the Author:

Maggy Howarth is one of the world's leading authorities on pebble mosaics and author of the bestseller The Art of Pebble Mosaics.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Foreword

Is it just coincidence that so many different people enjoy collecting and handling beautiful pebbles? There must be a basic appeal in the pebble as a found object, formed by the great forces of nature, recalling memories of happy childhood days spent on sunny beaches. We are naturally drawn to the smoothness of rounded stone; it's a small and perfect emblem of the earth we walk on. When we pick up a pebble and marvel at its beauty, we are holding a chunk of our planet; and when we pick up handfuls, and arrange them together in patterns, we are reflecting the universe. Children love to do it; so do adults if they give themselves the time to play. Some take the one step further that makes their collection of stones into something more permanent: designing, making and then leaving, for posterity, a pebble mosaic.

It is now nine years since the publication of The Art of Pebble Mosaics, and a lot has happened in that time. A busy working life, involving many pebble commissions, has led me to some useful discoveries and refinements of the basic techniques. In this book I can share with you some of those new ideas and experiences which I hope will in turn lead to more experimentation and development.

In addition to research in the workshop, opportunities have also arisen during travel abroad to see for myself some of the marvelous mosaics in far-flung places which have been very little known outside their own countries. Each holiday has become a research trip, trying to take in some of the different pebblework around the world. The photographs and observations are presented here for your delectation. There is so much more out there to discover, and I expect that there will be many more of these adventures -- explorations with eyes down!

A third source of information has come from readers of the first book. They were invited to contact me with news of any pebble projects of their own. The call didn't fall on stony ground and there has been a steady stream of information about public and private projects, and lots of pictures. Getting those letters and e-mails was like opening a box of delights, each one new and different. Every pair of hands transforms the pebbles differently. The many artists who have contributed to this book and generously shared information show a breadth of vision and invention that is a source of constant joy and admiration.

What you will see here is the best of pebble mosaic. The criteria for my selection are very simple. Firstly, of course, the work must be principally pebblework (not, say, tesserae). Secondly, it must be good work, and not just anything that happens to be made of pebbles. Sometimes it might be extremely simple, or rough and imperfect, or experimental; it might be quite mundane and everyday, or it might be complex, highly skillful and solidly professional. But, whatever their status, they all have a certain quality in common. They must be either interesting (in whatever way), or original and inventive. I have put in as many as space will permit. Whether or not this can be really thought of as "complete" is a debate for the future.

In the gazetteer of design ideas at the end of the book you'll find a large collection of pictures and drawings, all of which have been made into pebble mosaics (by me or others) or designed specifically for the medium. A thorough knowledge of pebble mosaic has informed their selection and the drawing of them. It would be wrong of anyone to "copy" them (each design is the copyright of the individual artist); but it is perfectly OK to use them as the inspiration and starting point for new versions. Since time began, artists have fed their imagination from the works of other artists, sparking off new connections and visions. I hope that, in turn, these pages will feed your imagination. That wonderful elusive trigger-point, inspiration, is the vital element that leads, through draftsmanship and selection, to good design. This is what lifts the medium of pebble mosaic from function and craft to a thing of beauty and art.

Maggy Howarth

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