Smalti mosaics created by Eberhard Schulze at the Unger-Schulze Mosaic and Stained Glass Studio in London, England between 1960 and 1974.
“At St. Jude’s, the scene of the Crucifixion is captured by a wonderful, huge smalti mosaic that dominates the wall above the altar. This splendid work, which bears the signature “Unger/Eber”, was designed by Hans Unger, and created by mosaic artist, Eberhard Schulze. The two Germans began combining their considerable skills in the early 1960’s.”
A few of Mr. Schulze notes, which he made in 1965 soon after the completion of the mosaic:
- The dominant feature was going to be the mosaic, Christ on the Cross, above the altar. The mosaic measures 17 ft by 9 ft.
- To cover the area, almost a thousand pounds of Venetian smalti are applied. The larger-sized ceramic tiles were specially made in our studio. These tiles were cut into shape to the sizes required and although the wastage was more than 50 per cent, the overall effect was worth the effort. The shapes of the sections are determined by the design. The tesserae and tiles are set into a special pliable mixture of dark coloured cement onto a base of marine plywood covered with expanded metal. The mosaic is executed in the direct method and took seven months to be completed and installed.
- I worked for two weeks in the spring of 1965 in a half-finished and cold church in Wigan installing the mosaic; every section weighed about 200lbs and had to be carried and lifted up a scaffold by several men, and put into position.
“Hans Unger became acknowledged as one of the best mosaic designers in London and his smaller works became sought after by private buyers. Tragically, he ended his own life in June 1975.
Sadly, Eberhard Schulze was forced to give up mosaic-making, when a spinal injury forced him into early retirement. He went on to develop a successful career as a specialist aquarist, becoming England’s leading discus fish breeder.”
St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Wigan: Our Church
Mosaic Art Source mosaic definition:
smalto (pl. smalti) – smalti is characterized by its dazzling range of brilliant opaque colors. Smalti is prepared by adding crystalline material (corpo) and coloured material (anima) to the colourless or coloured fused glass. Smalti is literally available in thousands of colors, is a very stable glass, easy to cut and very durable. m.a.s. mosaic glossary