TWO MOSAIC TABLETS

Powell mosaic tablet

On the East wall on either side above the altar are two large Mosaic tablets. The tablet on the left depicts 'The Sermon on the Mount' and the other, shown below, is of 'The Last Supper'. These tablets are made from marble and glass enamel. They were designed by Hardgrave and produced in 1881 by James Powell of Whitefriars at a cost of £28 and £33 respectively. The waste of contaminated glass in the factory concerned Powell. He discovered that tiny specks of clay from the crucibles in which the glass was melted was causing the contamination. Not being one to tolerate waste, he experimented and found that this waste glass could be ground to a powder and baked. This would produce a solid material with an eggshell surface which could then be used for mosaics.

Powell mosaic tablet

The technique employed by James Powell was known as ‘Opus Sectile’. Rather than small regular shaped pieces being used to make up the picture, each piece is cut to fit a component part of the design.