A member of BAMM, The British Association for Modern Mosaics, and AOI, the Association of Illustrators, Claire Milner is one of Londonart.co.uk’s leading mosaic artists.
Claire Milner has created art for celebrity clients including R&B star Rihanna, for large corporations and for private clients around the world. Her Swarovski artwork has recently come to global attention with much international media coverage and her work is regularly published in books and magazines. Claire specialises in original artwork, exclusively made with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS and painting/mixed media images embellished with crystals. She creates art in any subject requested but is especially known for her portraits of people and animals. She brings her wealth of experience working in the design and illustration industry as well as her extensive technical knowledge as a mosaic artist to achieve her own instantly recognisable style.
Originally trained as a Graphic Designer, Milner spent a number of years working in the Design and Illustration industry. After visiting Ravenna, Italy, a city famous for its early Byzantine and Christian monuments decorated with stunning mosaics, including the splendid Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, Milner enrolled in a mosaic workshop which was to welcome a new departure for her work.
Mosaic is an ancient art which has a rich history dating back to the third century BC. From the Greeks, Romans and Byzantine mosaics, to the Art Nouveau movement, it is now enjoying a huge renaissance in the 21st Century. Mosaic artists use small pieces of stone or fragments of pottery, colored or clear glass backed with metal foils to create a pattern or picture.
In the early nineties Milner studied under the eminent international mosaic artist Elaine M Goodwin. It was soon after completing her training that Milner began incorporating the ancient art of mosaic into her work. Now a professional mosaic artist with over 12 years experience, she combines her design and Illustration skills to create her beautiful mosaics.
Primarily influenced by her travels across Europe, South America, Africa and the Far East, each region encourages a new style of working and a variation on colour. “The many different countries and cultures I have experienced have heavily influenced me.” says Milner. “My travels in South America, Africa and the Far East led to experimentation with primary colour schemes and humanistic subject matter, integrated with simplistic yet bold imagery. Travels in Europe inspired more subtle atmospheres in renditions of European architecture and landscapes.” she adds.
At the initial stage of conception, Milner creates a layout for the final design or image. Importing most of her tiles from Italy, and predominantly using a combination of vitreous glass mosaic tiles - some of which are shot with gold veins, she must predetermine her tiles, technique, and principal colours at this initial design stage. “The illustration must be composed and transferred onto the backing. Once this is done care must be taken to ensure that the correct adhesives are used for the chosen surface that must firstly be primed.” She says.
Measuring approximately 2cm square, each tile has to be shaped and laid according to the design. “I cut all of the tiles individually with tile nippers before beginning a mosaic, and I continue to cut and shape tiles throughout the mosaic process.” she says, adding, “I like to incorporate gold and silver into much of my work wherever possible and appropriate.” After completing the tiling stage, the grout has then to be added. “This is also a very important stage, because beautiful mosaics have been known to flounder if the wrong colour grout is chosen. I often use different coloured grouts in different parts of a mosaic if necessary.”
To view Claire Milner’s work, general exhibition pages and to look at her biography please click here