Sunday, March 18, 2012

LDS Temple Stone Inlays and Mosaics

Stone inlays and mosaics are nice works of art.  It takes a lot of time and skill to place the stone properly in order to maintain a level surface.  Cutting the shapes just right is also difficult.  Skill is also required in selecting the individual pieces of stone so that they look good with each other.  The overall product is rich and elaborate and can be expensive, but it shows a certain dedication that is apparent in the various arts used in LDS temples.  Here are some examples that I found.

Temple baptisteries had a lot of examples of stone inlays.  The following picture shows stonework in the floors of the following temples (left to right, top to bottom): Draper Utah, Santo Domingo Domican Republic, San Diego California, Toronto Ontario, Panama City Panama, Vernal Utah, Las Vegas Nevada, and Portland Oregon.  Particularly interesting is the San Diego California Temple with its eight sided star which is similar to the eight sided Seal of Melchizedek symbol used throughout that temple.  Also, the Las Vegas Nevada Temple and Portland Oregon Temple each have a Star of David on the floor.  Another interesting pattern is the Panama City Panama Temple's baptistry inlay which is a symbol used by Native Americans in Panama.
The sides of fonts also often have stone inlays.  In the image below (left to right, top to bottom) you can see the Accra Ghana, Billings Montana, Quetzaltenango Guatemala, Helsinki Finland, and Apai Samoa Temples' fonts with stone and tile inlays.
Entryways are also a common area for stone inlays and mosaics.  In the following image you can see the following temples (left to right, top to bottom): Quetzaltenango Guatemala, Twin Falls Idaho, Draper Utah, Helsinki Finland, Mexico City Mexico, Aba Nigeria, Atlanta Georgia, and Gila Valley Arizona Temples.
Several entries have more elaborate floor inlays or mosaics.  From top to bottom in the image below are the Lubbock Texas, Newport Beach California, Apia Samoa, and Redlands California Temples' entry stone inlays.  Although I didn't have a picture of it, the entry lobby of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple also has an impressive inlay with numerous types of stone in a large circle.
I like all these stone inlays and hope to see many more in temples.  These are only a selection of the ones I found in my photo collection.  I noticed several things.  First, these all occurred in halls, entrys, lobbies, and baptistries.  I would like to see some elsewhere in the temple.  Second, I noticed that a lot of there are from newer temples which means that the church is actively promoting this art style in temples.  That means we will probably see a lot more.

Please write and let us know what you think about these stone inlays/mosaics in Mormon Temples and any interesting ones that I skipped that you want to highlight.


Anonymous said...

I think the reason that you primarily see these in baptistries and entryways is because those are some of the few areas of temples that often have hard flooring. When it's raining, people track water and mud in from outside, so it makes sense for the entryway to be an easy-to-clean surface that doesn't stain. Obviously, there's also a lot of tracking of water that goes on in a baptistry.

But elsewhere in a temple, floors are carpeted. You wouldn't want a stone-inlaid floor in a celestial room or sealing room, beautiful as it would be, because it would be much noisier than a carpeted floor.

Brett Stirling said...

I love the Apia Samoa Temple inlay design as it utlises a motifs used on traditional tapa cloth and fine mats. It is heartening to see such a modern adaptation of a centuries old traditional within a temple. I look forward to seeing traditional Maori motifs being utilised in the Manukau Temple when it is announced.

Don said...

The Celestial room of the Madrid, Spain Temple has a hard floor, with carpets placed over parts of it.

sordar joy said...

Yep, LOVE it! Looks so much more interesting than typically laid tile.
glass and stone mosaic