“I’m Emad Daoud, member of the Madaba Arts and Handicraft Center. Jordan is one of the most important mosaic capitals of the world.
In the last 20 years we have discovered many locations in Madaba with beautiful mosaic floors that required restoration. This is why, 18 years ago, we opened up a small lab to train new mosaic experts and restore the destructed mosaics of the entire region.
Now our art lab has become one of the biggest microstone mosaic producers of the world. We use natural-colored, local stones and patterns that replicate ancient mosaics.
The first step when creating a mosaic is choosing the design and drawing the reverse side of it on a cotton canvas that has been attached to a flat board.
The second step consists of cutting the stones and gluing them together with a mixture of glue and flour. After the work is finished we pull the canvas off the board with the stones attached to it, then we submerge the work in a closed wooden/iron frame filled with a mixture of soft sand and white cement. We apply pressure on top of the fabric so that the mixture can go in between the stones. When the mixture becomes soft, we can peel off the canvas from the mosaic without any problems.
We replicate our mosaics on pottery as well. We make the pottery, let it dry naturally and then apply a coat of a special substance which we call background. We outline the design and then paint it with oxide colors and stains, all handmade in our art lab. Once we have outlined the design, we fire the pottery in a kiln, glaze it and fire it one last time.
We like to employ local people in our lab, especially young talents and people who study at the school of mosaics in Madaba. Thanks to tourism, our lab helps the local community by increasing the income. We help the Bedouins by purchasing their goods so they can get a good education and health care. We also like to help people with special needs in the Madaba area giving them work to do at home.
We’ve opened up a shop right next to our lab with one of the biggest mosaic displays in Jordan. We also sell Bedouin carpets, embroidery, wood work, pottery, and many other traditional handmade Jordanian products“.