Block title


About Rick Marvello

Rick Marvello Shelley's picture
Rick Marvello Shelley is a maker of mosaics.

Textured Mosaics, Mosaics in Three Dimensions, and Sectional Mosaics

I designed these mosiacs with pieces of varying thicknesses to create surface texture. Several mosaics are formed over three dimensional objects. Some show how the placement of pieces creates movement. Others show the use of large shaped sections.

  • Vines and Flowers

    Shaped glass tiles and melted glass on sculpted cement panel. 16" x 20"
  • Ionic Niche

    Gold mosaic on ceramic architectural form. 14" x 8" x 6"
  • Blue Spirals

    River stones, blue mirror smalti, and broken window glass embedded into cement. 18" x 24" x 2"
  • Ship Eye

    Detail of the three dimensional Eye Ship showing eye made of iridiscent glass sections. Eye image 6" x 2"
  • Eye Ship

    Glass, pearls, beads, and twisted copper wire over cement. 38" long on a 3' marblized column.
  • Heavenly City

    Iridescent glass and clear glass sections stenciled with gold and silver leaf on wood panel. 30" x 14"
  • Hovering

    Melted glass, glass strips, and chunks of turquoise on wood panel. 12" x 16"
  • Egghead

    Glass tiles, copper cut-outs, and wire over egg shaped form. 22" x 10' x 10"
  • Sumo

    Shaped glass sections on wood panel. 12" x 12"

Interactive Table Mosaic at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Designed for the exhibition "Antioch, the Lost Ancient City" Visitors enjoyed filling in mosiac patterns and borders with loose tesserrae.

Rick Shelley's Mosaic Students

Student projects in progress

  • Student

    Carol overlooks her treasure pile of glass tesserae and starts another mosaic project.
  • Student

    Eve and "Three Cherries".
  • Students

    Students arranging glass tesserae at the Creative Alliance.
  • Students

    Mosaic students, at the Mt. Royal Studio, sorting and then gluing glass to plywood.
  • Students

    Students at the American Visionary Art Museum grouting mosaic projects with gloved hands and sponges.
  • Student

    Connie puts the final touches on a spiral garden sculpture made from cut glass and river stones.
  • Student

    Cora's butterfly.
  • Student

    Betsy's "Chili Peppers".
  • Student

    Mike prepares a border design to surround a black and white maze made from strips of glass.
  • Student

    Andrea and her first mosaic project, "Sailboat and Shining Sun".

Uncertain Games

These "Uncertain Games" have uncertain rules. The game boards and markers are mainly visual and players are encouraged to improvise the moves.

  • Maliki

    "All moves are possible, but none are permitted." Glass on wood, metal, glass beads. Game board approx. 24" x 16"
  • Game Markers

    Tree forms as markers for a game titled Maliki. Glass, wire, and solder. 6" to 10" tall
  • Naziopoly

    "Win the world and lose everything." Glass on wood, ceramic, metallic paper. Game board 24" x 24"
  • Black Pearl

    Move the shell to claim the black pearl in the center. Glass on wood, shell, silver, pearl. Game board 18"x 18"
  • Beetle Craps

    Detail of glass dice for Beetle Craps.
  • Beetle Craps

    "One beetle, two beetle, three beetle four. Roll the dice and capture more." Glass on wood, metal. Game board 12" x 12"
  • Sommnnus

    "A game to be played between sleep and wakefulness." Cast glass, sheet glass over wood, glass tiles, metallic paper. Game board 12" x 16"
  • Omphalos

    "To make the spheres sing, rub your navel to the ring." Glassover cement, metal, paper. Game disk 16" in diameter.
  • Flytomecca

    "First to finish, wins a Meccamillion." Glass on wood, metallic paper, metal, shell. Game board 30" x 12"
  • Uncertain Games

    Gameboards and Markers

Mosaic Map at The Walters Art Museum

The Map of the Ancient and Medieval World was completed for the renovation of the new wing at The Walters Art Museum in 2001 and is on permanant display in the second floor lobby. It is made out of three wooden panels seamlessly joined and mosaiced with over 150,000 glass tesserae. It measures 9' x 12'
The map centers on the Mediteranean Sea and the Middle East. From there it extends to the British Isles, Central Africa, India, and Siberia. 33 cities are marked with a small red disk. The land masses are borderless--no countries are indicated.
From the upper corners, wind gods blow sparkling breezes across Europe and Asia. From southern Africa, the Nile snakes its way up through the ancient cities of Egypt. A gold tile marks Venice. A sea dragon patrols the Atlantic waters and leaves swirls of glittering glass in its wake.

Making the Mosiac Map of the Ancient and Medieval World

I made the Mosaic Map of the Ancient and Medieval World on three panels of marine plywood. A paper cartoon was laid over each panel and outines of land masses, oceans,etc. were traced through. I used P.V.A. glue to adhere glass to the wood. After the outlines were mosiaced with lines of tiny pieces, I filled in the surrounding areas with larger pieces. No two pieces are the same.
The pieces are made from molten glass which is poured onto tables and then rolled into thin sheets of various colors and textures. The sheets are purchased by mosaic artists. With glass cutters and special pliers the sheets are reduced to strips which are cut again into squares, rectangles, and other small shapes. These pieces, called tesserae, are then sorted by size and color. The main colors in the map are green for land, blue for water, and cream for deserts.
At the Walters Art Museum, the three panels and a wave border were joined and then secured permanently to the wall. The Map measures 9' x 12' and contains over 150,000 glass tesserae.

Byzantine Style Mosaics

I created this collection of mosaics using traditional methods of laying tesserae. Patterns on the glass surface create movement and halo effects in the backgrounds.

Spirals, Mandalas, Mazes, and Labyrinths

I created a series of mosaics that lead to a center or radiate from a center point.

  • Flower Mandala

    Glass mosaic on wood panel. 12" x 12"
  • Whip Maze

    Gold and iridescent glass on wood panel. 12" x 12"
  • Cruciform Disk

    Gold glass mosaic set into ceramic relief.
  • Mirror Rondel

    Mirror glass over cement. 16" in diameter.
  • Labyrinth

    Glass mosaic on wood panel. 24" x 24"
  • Square Maze

    Iridescent glass, beads, and mother of pearl on wood panel. 12" x12"
  • Octagon Maze

    Gold glass, iridescent glass, and mother of pearl on wood panel. 26" in diameter.
  • Cosmati Disk

    Gold glass, iridescent glass, and marble set into cement. 24" x 24"
  • Stone Spiral

    Stone, bronze coins, glass. 9" x 9"
  • Red Spiral

    Glass mosaic over cement. 36" in diameter.

Mosaics by Rick Marvello Shelley

These mosaics are the result of my travels to see artifacts from the ancient cultures of Central and South America. Mayan carvings and Inca textiles inspired the designs.

  • Mask

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass, shell pearls, and coral on wood panel.
  • Inca Pattern 3

    Detain of a mosaic. Glass on wood panel.
  • Inca Pattern 2

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass on wood panel.
  • Fire Demons

    Glass mosaic on wood panel. 15" x 9"
  • Frog

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass on wood panel.
  • Inca Mask

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass on wood panel.
  • Bird with Flower Eyes

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass and pearls on wood panel.
  • Funerary Mask

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass on wood panel.
  • Inca Pattern 1

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass on wood panel.
  • Maya Mask

    Detail of a mosaic. Glass. shell, coral, and pearls on wood panel.

Connect with Rick Marvello

Rick Marvello's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.