I was fascinated by this video of artisans creating terra cotta tiles. It’s such an involved process to make a single tile, especially shaping each one. This makes me appreciate mosaic tile artworks much more!
The art of zellige flourished at the Hispano-Moresque period of Morocco. The art remained very limited in use until the Merinid dynasty who gave it more importance around the 14th century and introduced blue, green and yellow colours. Red was added in the 17th century. The old enamels with the natural colours were used until the beginning of the 20th century and the colours had probably not evolved much since the period of Merinids. The cities of Fes and Meknes remain the centers of this art.
Patrons of the art used zellige historically to decorate their homes as a statement of luxury and the sophistication of the inhabitants. Zellige is typically a series of patterns utilizing colourful geometric shapes. This framework of expression arose from the need of Islamic artists to create spatial decorations that avoided depictions of living things, consistent with the teachings of Islamic law. from Wikipedia
I was inspired to create a paint chip mosaic art project based on Islamic tile designs.
Islamic Design Paint Chip Mosaic Art Project for Kids
I started with a few paint chip strips, stick glue and scissors. I used index cards to paste the designs onto. I used the smallest index sized cards but I also tried it using copy paper.
Cut the paint chips out into rectangles.
Cut the rectangles into shapes. I made trapezoids and triangles.
One easy way is to cover the index card with stick glue and then place the paint chip pieces directly onto the cards.
You can also arrange your shapes onto the index card or paper and then move them over one at a time to glue them onto another index card or piece of paper.
Getting perfectly symmetrical designs is hard, so my hat is off to Habibi Interiors in the video, but even if your pattern is asymmetrical, it still looks interesting.
Links to Explore Islamic Geometric Art:
Tile mosaic artworks at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.