Mega Dose
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | September 17, 2014

    Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



    My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$11.95
List price: $16.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Nature Studies- Natural History
1 Hawthorne Nature Studies- General

Finding Beauty in a Broken World (Vintage)

by

Finding Beauty in a Broken World (Vintage) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375725197
ISBN10: 0375725199
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $11.95!

 

 

Excerpt

We watched the towers collapse. We watched America choose war.

The peace in our own hearts shattered.

How to pick up the pieces?

What to do with these pieces?

I was desperate to retrieve the poetry I had lost.

Standing on a rocky point in Maine, looking east toward the horizon at dusk, I faced the ocean. “Give me one wild word.” It was all I asked of the sea.

The tide was out. The mudflats exposed. A gull picked up a large white clam, hovered high above the rocks, then dropped it. The clam broke open, and the gull swooped down to eat the fleshy animal inside.

“Give me one wild word to follow . . .

And the word the sea rolled back to me was “m o s a i c.”

Ravenna is the town in Italy where the west arm of Rome and the east arm of Constantinople clasped hands and agreed on a new capital of the Roman Empire in 402 AD. It was a pragmatic decision made by a shift in power, the decline of Rome and the rise of Byzantium. A spiritual history of evolving pagan and Christian perspectives can be read in a dazzling narrative of cut stones and glass.

Eloquence is spoken through the labor of hands, anonymous hands of forgotten centuries. With eyes looking up, artisans rolled gold tesserae between their fingers in thought, as they searched for the precise placement in domes and apses where light could converse with glass. Jeweled ceilings become lavish tales. I want to understand these stories told through fragments. I am an apprentice in a mosaic workshop.

Her name is Luciana. She is my teacher. Her work is unsigned, anonymous. Like the mosaicists before her who created the ancient mosaics that adorn the sacred interiors of this quiet town, she conducts the workshop in the traditional manner outlined centuries ago.

The tools required: a hammer and a hardie. The hardie is similar to a chisel and is embedded in a tree stump for stability. A piece of marble, glass, or stone, desiring to be cut, is held between the forefinger and thumb of the left hand, placed perpendicular on the hardie. The hammer that bears two cutting edges, gracefully curved, is raised in the right hand. With a quick blow, a tessera is born, the essential cube in the crea- tion of a mosaic.

Her name is Luciana. She is a mosaicist in the town of Ravenna. She has no belief in invention or innovation. “It has all been done before,” she says. “There are rules.”

1.The play of light is the first rule of mosaic.

2.The surface of mosaics is irregular, even angled, to increase the dance of light on the tesserae.

3.Tesserae are irregular, rough, individualized, unique.

4.If you are creating horizontal line, place tesserae vertically.

5.If you are creating a vertical line, place tesserae horizontally.

6.The line in mosaic is supreme; the flow of the line is what matters so the eye is never disturbed or interrupted.

7.The background is very important in emphasizing the mosaic pattern. There must always be at least one line of tesserae that outlines the pattern. Sometimes there will be as many as three lines defining the pattern as part of the background.

8.There is a perfection in imperfection. The interstices or gaps between the tesserae speak their own language in mosaics.

9.Many colors are used to create one color from afar. Different hues of the same color were always used in ancient mosaics.

10.The distance from which the mosaic is viewed is important to the design, color, and execution of the mosaic.

11.The play of light is the first and last rule of mosaic.

Luciana will tell you once that you learn the rules of ancient mosaics, only then can you break them. She places a gold piece of glass between her finger and thumb on the hardie and holds the hammer at the base of its wooden handle. Ting—she strikes the gold smalti into the exact shape she desires.

“You can learn this technique in fifteen minutes,” she says. “It will take you a lifetime to master it.”

A mosaic is a conversation between what is broken.

The very language of tesserae tells us that this harmony is only achievable through the breaking and then rediscovery of the mosaic fragments.

NATASCIA FESTA, Nittola

You will see that the vibration, the movement, the tremor, the shimmering of that lapidary colour, of that colour of stone or enamel tessera is obtained also by staggering the connection between one tessera and another, by not putting them at the same level, often by making one protrude in respect to the one next to it so as to obtain effects of marginal refraction that give a value of vibration to the entire colour.

GIULIO CARLO ARGAN, Mosaico damicizid fra i popoli

A mosaic is a conversation that takes place on surfaces.

A mosaic is a conversation with light, with color, with form.

A mosaic is a conversation with time.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Dr G, December 5, 2009 (view all comments by Dr G)
Brilliant. Ms Williams has once again amazed us with her observations. She is able to seamlessly weave a tapastry that includes art, culture and nature.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375725197
Author:
Williams, Terry Tempest
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Author:
Williams, Terry Tempest
Subject:
Animals
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Aesthetics
Subject:
General Nature
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
nature;rwanda;italy;mosaics;beauty;aesthetics;american southwest;utah;genocide;memoir;non-fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
7.98x5.24x.93 in. .72 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Lincoln's Little Girl Used Hardcover $3.50
  2. Oregon Detour (Northwest Reprints) New Hardcover $13.50
  3. Healing Into Life and Death Used Trade Paper $5.95
  4. Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on... Used Trade Paper $14.00
  5. Change Your Voice, Change Your Life Used Trade Paper $5.50
  6. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret...
    Used Trade Paper $5.50

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General

Finding Beauty in a Broken World (Vintage) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375725197 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An impassioned and moving plea for a better relationship between the natural world and humankind, from one of our most treasured writers.

Constructing a narrative of hopeful acts, Williams travels the world to see how broken pieces of history and earth can create something new and whole. She learns about the art of mosaic in Ravenna, Italy. She studies the prairie dogs on the brink of extinction in the American Southwest. And she travels to a small village in Rwanda where she joins survivors of the genocide to build a memorial from the rubble of war. Sparking social change and healing, Williams's journey forms a singular meditation on how the natural and human worlds both collide and connect in violence and beauty, and in tumult and peace.

"Synopsis" by , From learning about the art of mosaic in Italy to joining survivors of the Rwandan genocide, Williams presents an impassioned and moving plea for a better relationship between the natural world and humankind.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.