MosaicBlues: Medusa .entry-content { font-size:25px !important; }

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Medusa was one of three sisters known as the Gorgons.

Originally a golden-haired and very beautiful maiden, she was as a priestess of Athena, devoted to a life of celibacy; but wooed by Poseidon, whom she loved in return, she forgot her vows, and became united to him in marriage. 

For this offence she was punished by the goddess in a most terrible manner. Each wavy lock of the beautiful hair which had so charmed her husband, was changed into a venomous snake and whoever would gaze directly upon her would turn to stone. 

Rhodes Medusa Mosaic - 4th century BC

From then on, her life became very complicated. It ended tragically when Perseus beheaded her.

She became however a favourite theme of ancient mosaics.
Brading Roman Villa, Isle of Wight, UK

I started to work on my own Medusa during the summer of 2011.

As usual, I used my preferred reverse method for this piece.  I laid the first tesserae  - Black granite and Beige Travertine - on August 28.
Medusa, August 28, 2011

On August 30 I completed the outside frise - a geometrical pattern often found in ancient Greek mosaics.

Medusa, August 30, 2011.

It took one week to complete the full head. Medusa is made mostly of stones : marbles of various colors, travertine, granite, and I used small pieces of red smalti for the snakes tongues.

Medusa, September 7, 2011. Dry

One way to better visualize the final result why working the reverse method is to spray water on top of the piece... The water brings out the actual colors as if the piece had been polished.

Medusa, September 7, 2011. Wet

I flipped Medusa at the beginning of October and used a dark red grout to fill the gaps between the tesserae.
Medusa, October 8, 2011

You can appreciate on these 2 pictures how the quality of light impacts the way you see a mosaic. This is an important factor to consider when you place a piece in your home. Generally, a warmer light better brings out the colors of a mosaic.

Medusa, October 8, 2011
As Medusa was destined to be a table, I polished her very finely. 

Although a polished mosaic does not catch the light as beautifully as an unpolished one I like to polish my tables. The feel of the hand on the well polished stone is a very pleasant one. 

Finally, Medusa was inserted into a beautiful bronze coated frame made of cast aluminium and steel.

Medusa, October 12, 2011

The 3 legs of the table represent the winged horse Pegasus. 
Pegasus,  Apulian red figure vase 4th Century B.C.

Medusa, November 2011.
Pegasus, the result of the marriage of Poseidon to Medusa, was born when the hero Perseus cut her head off.

Detail of the Table leg.

Medusas dimensions are : 
Mosaic diameter : 27"  (69 cm)
Table Height : 24" (61cm)
Table Diameter (horses level) : 34" (86 cm)

If you are interested in the Medusa Table, would like to commission a different table or mosaic, or would simply like to learn more about mosaic, please contact me by email at, or by phone at (334) 798 1639.

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  1. Since I posted, Medusa has been sold. I can however create a new one, or a similar piece.