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

la maison picassiette kitchen

Raymond Isidore was born in 1900. In 1924 he married his wife, Adrienne, a widow 10 years older than him with three children. In 1930 he began to build the house in which they would live, and in about 1938 started decorating the interior of the house using discarded crockery pieces he had come across on walks.

The house has just three small rooms. The door opens into the kitchen; this leads into the "morning room", which then leads to the bedroom. Every surface of each room is mosaicked or painted. The mosaics here are purely decorative, but the paintings include views of Mont St Michel and Chartres, and an Arabic city set amongst sand dunes.

la maison picassiette bedroom


Perhaps most remarkable is the way that all the furniture is also covered, including the stove, which apparently continued to work fully. Elsewhere, the table, chairs, a footstool, the bedside cabinet and even the bed itself are adorned.

The effect is astounding, but it is not hard to imagine the domestic stress this activity must have caused in a small dwelling with three children. There would have been the mess of dust and broken crockery....and where did they sleep while the grout was drying on the bedhead?

It's probably fair to say that Raymond was obsessed, and that argument must have been useless.




At some point the floors were skilfully laid as mosaic, using tiles, stone and items such as the bases of glass perfume bottles. The picture below shows a section of the floor of the "morning room".

la maison picassiette floor

The work on the inside of the house took several years, continuing during the Second World War. The outside walls and the courtyard (on the previous pages) were decorated between about 1945 and 1951.

(the chapel)

(the house wall)

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