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SMALTI

The most beautiful of all glass mosaic tesserae. This undulating handmade Italian glass has been used by mosaicists for centuries. Fabulous examples can be seen in Byzantine work. Its brilliance and range of colour cannot be matched in any other material and are enhanced by its slightly uneven texture, making it ideal for artistic mosaic and decorative work.  It is made by pouring a molten glass mix containing pigments into a circular press roughly 60cm in diameter in which it is flattened down to thickness of approximately 18-20mm.   It is then allowed to cool and cut into smaller pieces by hand in a series of stages to finally achieve the tesserae that are available to buy on our site. 

Smalti is often left ungrouted which works well if the gap between the pieces is minimal giving the impression of a continuous flow of colour.  Smalti may be grouted but be careful because the uneven surface often has little holes made by air bubbles escaping during the cooling process and these can trap grout which is hard to remove and can make the finished piece look a bit spotty .

Smalti can be used whole but if you want to cut this type of mosaic we recommend using  Leponitt double wheeled glass mosaic cutters as these really do cut cleanly and accurately as well keeping any waste to a minimum which is important given the cost of the material.

 

 

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