With the increasing overwhelm of screen time, the demands from our digital reality call for an outlet. Crafts, alongside other practices involving manual dexterity are being used more often now as an antidote to the stresses of daily life.
Without a doubt, I believe arts and crafts practices like pottery, needlework, painting, woodwork, and mosaic art are becoming of increasing interest and in overall demand for this purpose. Arts and crafts can be a useful tool for outlets from our daily digital life. After hours of being hunched over a computer, locking eyes with a screen, when we immerse ourselves in an activity that calls for manual skills our mind enters a flow state that balances both mental and manual challenges. Some people call it a flow state. I can certainly relate to that because I’ve experienced it many times. When I’m fully focussed creating a mosaic work of art, trying to get that perfect ceramic cut, or that perfect position of any kind of tesserae to align with the next, I feel focussed on that moment; with a sense of accomplishment, reduced anxiety, and relaxation.
Mosaic art combines an array of practices. Firstly, there is a design process, where we come up with an image to sketch with pencil on paper. Then, a color scheme application. Depending on the materials available, there is a plethora of tesserae varying from ceramic tiles, pottery pieces, china, to porcelain, all kinds of glass, like smalti, stained glass, or even stones, like marble or slate. Once the materials are chosen, the application begins. Using the right kind of adhesive, each piece is set into the glue to solidify into the substrate. This takes time when done right.
Lastly, there is the grouting part which can call for a moment of slight tension (good tension) and excitement because depending on your mosaic, the grout can make or break your piece.
It’s obvious to me, and although it’s mostly a self reporting phenomenon amongst artists I personally know; art is like a kind of medicine, definitely a therapy. While scientists are still solidifying the facts of its health benefits, I encourage you to try mosaic art. You’ll be surprised at what you can make!