At Tenuta di Poggiolame

Megan Mahan

An exquisite niche course, The Art of Mosaic.

Born in Welleslley, Massachusetts, Megan moved to Italy after graduating from Pomona College where she majored in art history. In Rome she studied art conservation at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro. During her studies she met Roberto Maria Anselmi, a master mosaicist of the Vatican Mosaic Studio, and learned from him and worked with him for many years.

Check out her beautiful work at

This week long course will offer you the opportunity to study traditional and micro mosaic. You will also be able to create your own piece of jewellery. Choosing in advance to make ear rings or a pendant. Megan will be with you every step of the way to help you produce your chosen piece.

All materials are included in this course.

The history of Mosaic

Micromosaic is a technique developed in the 18th century by the mosaicists of the Vatican. In order to create mosaic copies of the famous alterpieces in the basilica of St Peter’s a vast range of colors was needed. The search for these colors resulted in the creation of mother tints or in other words colored glass paste with a high percentage of coloring oxides. These colors are melted in a crucible with a flame and mixed. The mass of molten glass in then pulled into long thin rods (the cross section of which can be round, square, triangular, linear or curved). Colors can be mixed in a way to achieve many different effects and the range of possible colors is almost limitless. The rods are then cut with a diamond file and inserted into a special kind of putty made of travertine powder, slaked lime putty and linseed oil. The oil putty dries slowly which allows the mosaicist time for slow, detailed work.

Traditional Mosaic

The technique of mosaic, developed thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia, found its first real diffusion in the Greek and Roman world and flowered in the Byzantine and medieval era. Today artists and craftsmen still use much the same technique to decorate and add beauty to floors and walls in homes, churches and public spaces.

The first materials used were terracotta and pebbles. In the Hellenistic world stone and marble and glass paste (smalti) cut with a hammer and hardie were used and they remain the most prestigious materials today. Once the tesserae were cut they were inserted directly into the mortar or adhesive, creating a surface texture full of movement, light and shadow. Over the centuries different techniques have been developed- the tesserae can be applied indirectly which results in a flat, smooth surface or a temporary support can be used such as clay or lime. The direct method however remains the one which best highlights the beauty of the marble and smalti.

Megan Mahan:

Megan will be joining us for a course "The Art of Mosaic" in 2019.

Course date: Date to be confirmed - Contact us now!

Venue: Italy

Course Price: £985

Non Painting Partners
Non participating partners are welcome if sharing a room with partner at Tenuta di Poggiolame, for the amazing price of £750 for all courses. Still no single room supplement.

For guests returning to a course at Arte Umbria you are entitled to a 5% discount. Please contact us for your Discount Code to use when booking via the website. All our courses are priced and charged in Great British Pounds Sterling.

See our course dates and prices page for more information

See the complete list of our Tutors here at Arte Umbria

Our tutors

Gallery of paintings

Featured here are a selection of mosaics by Megan please click on any thumbnail to see a larger picture.