With funding from an IATL pedagogical intervention grant Dr Zahra Newby organised a Practical Mosaic workshop for students taking the module 'Domestic Space in the Roman World'. The workshop was held for 3 hours on Wednesday 26th February and was run by Lawrence Payne of Roman Mosaic Workshops.
Before the workshop Lawrence put up a page on his website explaining to students what they should expect from the workshop. The workshop itself ran for 3 hours; Lawrence gave an introductory lecture on what is known about the techniques of roman mosaic working, before allowing students to choose one of two designs to create themselves: a bird or a 2-strand guilloche. Although we used modern pva glue rather than mortar, the processes of laying out and positioning the tesserae followed Roman techniques. The aim of the workshop was to allow students to experience for themselves the processes involved in creating complex mosaics, including issues such as the time involved, the practicalities of team working to create larger mosaics, and the possibility for errors to arise.
Feedback forms suggest an overwhelmingly positive response to the workshop; in particular, students commented that it made them realise the time involved in creating mosaics and the logistics involved in creating complex designs. In light of the success of this workshop I am applying to IATL for further funding to incorporate more practical sessions into a pilot version of my module 'Art and Architecture in Asia Minor' to evaluate the success of different types of sessions and the ways these might be incorporated into the module in future years.
A 35 minute video from the session is available below: