Stone Art – From Ancient to Modern

Stone and mosaic art works have been made from stone for thousands of years, most people would have seen pictures of ancient Roman mosaics such as the one in the above picture. Each tiny piece cut by hand as one pixel to make up a larger picture.

Ancient Techniques

While computer controlled technology has allowed for the production of extremely accurate cuts to produce beautiful stone ‘medallions’ with no gaps, some mosaics are still made by hand today by skilled artisans over many many hours. Check out the slideshow below for an example of a hand cut and assembled stone mosaic of Napoleon made recently.

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This video below is a fascinating look at how mosaics are still made today from start to finish in some parts of the world.

Modern Techniques

Modern methods for creating ‘marble medallions‘ out of stone use computer controlled waterjets to cut marble into complex designs and curves which can be slotted together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. Check out the video below to see an example of what is achievable today.

We at Classic Ceramics have own range of stone art tiles called Petra Antiqua. Petra Antiqua in Italy produce a massive range of cut and engraved stone tiles, many of which are embedded with gold or silver glazes. Actually, their range is so extensive that we’d have to have a showroom with their tiles alone if we were to display all of their range. While we can’t stock all their range, we can order in any design if you have time up your sleeve.

Check out the picture below to see an example of what we have on display, for more like it, visit Classic Ceramics in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Petra Antiqua Engraved Stone Tiles


Fornasetti Tiles

Piero Fornasetti (10 November 1913 – 9 October 1988) was an internationally famous Italian artist most famous for his art with the repeated use of the same woman’s face. There are many collectors of his work which seek after these vintage works and today it’s most common to find his works in ceramics, plates, lamps, scarves, ties and furniture.

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Vintage Fornasetti style chest of drawers Architectural Hand Painted
Vintage Fornasetti style chest of drawers Architectural Hand Painted

Other common features in Fornasetti art is the sun, moon and stars, playing cards, animals and surrealistic images, quite often in just black and white in a style which resembles engraving.

As a special order Classic Ceramics can supply a range of Fornasetti decorative wall tiles, many of which are plated with real gold or platinum.

fornasetti tiles

Fornasetti tiles