Thursday, March 05, 2009

Pebbles and Winter Flowers

Luis here:
This Winter has been a wet and cold one and as a result we did not manage to plant the oats as green manure. During a recent dry spell we have extended the wood store as we have been given 4 trees for firewood. In the vegetable plot the brasica family benefitted from the wet weather. The cauliflowers have been brilliant and yesterday I harvested the last remaining three, 2.5 kg of tasty, organic home grown cauliflowers floretes. Some of it we made into a very tasty soup that we had for lunch with our home made bread and the remaining of the crop was stored in the freezer to be used at a later date. We have started cropping early purple sprouting brocolli, young leeks and baby carrots. 
I have recently completed mosaics in two different styles. One style is called opus tessellatum which is the traditional roman mosaic found decorating many villas and public spaces throughout the roman empire. Opus tessellatum uses small pieces of stone or tessare in different colours that follow a design, in this case 1 cm square which I cut using a machine designed and constructed by Alfredo, my brother-in-law. At times you also need to make or alter the tessare by hand using a hammer and anvil. My first mosaic made in opus tessellatum is a name plaque for the house. The other technique or style I use is called opus lapilla. This is also an ancient method used throughtout history by the greek, roman and other cultures. Opus lapilla mosaics are made using pebbles of difenret sizes, colours and textures to create a design. At times I incortporate some details made out of other materials such as glass, ceramics, marble, semi-precious stones amethyst), slatehave and even man-made materials such as tile and silextone. Ian helps me not only with the designs but also with the selection os some of the pebbles. My latest pebble mosaic has a central lizard made with slate ands amethyst that still needs to be consolidated using for the first time a special type of cement that has been difficult to track down. Each mosaic is made with thought for the person or the specific garden project. The results are very beautiful.

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