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

Unswept floor mosaic in Canterbury

unswept floor mosaic

The "unswept floor" is a theme from classical mosaics, such as one to be found in the Vatican. The idea is to give the appearance of real objects littering a floor, as a kind of trompe l'oeil effect. There is a even a specific Greek term for this - "asaroton". Typically the items are debris from a feast, indicating that the owner of the house knows how to throw a really good party.

This example is a modern mosaic in the entrance to the Roman Museum in Canterbury's Butchery Lane. It was a collaborative project led by mosaicist Martin Cheek. The pictures below show a number of details from the work.


A discarded apple core.

apple core mosaic

fish skelton mosaic


The sketal remains of a fish.


As well as the remains of the feast there is a mouse - an uninvited guest.

mouse mosaic

mosaic mussel shells


Mussel shells, and the date of the mosiac (2000 in Roman numerals).

other mosaics in Canterbury

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the joy of shards Mosaics Resource