Mosaics and mosaic making information from The joy of shards Mosaics Resource

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These marble and smalti pavement mosaics are by Emma Biggs and were unveiled in March 2004. They are situated in Wharf Walk, a thoroughfare running the length of the Jubilee Place shopping complex in east London's Canary Wharf development. They take their theme from the history of the Docklands area, depicting the range of goods and commodities which used to pass through the docks. Each mosaic is surrounded by lettering with information about the subject shown.

Click on the thumbnails below for a page of pictures. Detail shots show some of the different ways that the mosaic medium has been skillfully used to express the textures of the various objects. There are also photos showing the mosaics in context within the shopping mall.

fish mosaic

"The fishwives of Billingsgate Market had an awesome reputation for their foul language and ribaldry."

shell mosaic

"There was a fashion for using shells in nineteenth century furniture."

hide mosaic

"Ship's captains arriving in London were often given a bribe of a beaver hat to use one wharf rather than another."

mosaic rope

"In 1858 a rope used in the launch of the Great Eastern on the Isle of Dogs was almost four feet in circumference."

textile mosaic

"The trade in textiles led to new cities being built around the world."

tortoiseshell mosaic

"London was the world's only open market for tortoise shell."

vines mosaic

"There were 28 acres of vaults under London docks for the storage of wines and spirits."

ship mosaic

"London used to be known as the City of Ships. A thousand vessels a week passed through the docks."

peacock feathers

"Three million pounds of feathers were sold annually before the First World War."

saucer mosiac

"The trade in tea, coffee and chocolate created a huge demand for porcelain cups and saucers."

snakeskin mosaic

"Imported python skins could be more than twenty feet long."

mosaic carpet

"Dockers in the carpet warehouse were more skilled in identifying origins than experts in museums."

tomatoes mosaic"The original Canary Wharf took its name from the tomatoes, fruit and potatoes imported here from the Canary Islands."

2001-8 All pictures and text are copyright
the joy of shards Mosaics Resource