becky_iaJanuary 3, 2011

Good morning,

With the new year, I am hoping to learn some new techniques with my mosaics and smalti is one of them. I am scheduled for a one day smalti class at the Chicago Mosaic School in a couple of weeks. (This was one of the raffle prizes at the mosaic conference last year and I won! Was scheduled to go in October but then had to cancel and next class is in January). Weather permitting, I plan to drive in for the weekend and attend the class.

BUT, I have never worked with smalti and am a little nervous about it. So this question is for those who have. I am asking for any tips or suggestions. I would like to have some idea before hand on what to do for a design. I can not draw, so should I have some type of pattern ready? I know they will address these questions once I am there, but I would like to do a little research ahead of time so I don't seem so lost.

Thanks for any help.


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My guess is that they'll have patterns there for students' use. Sounds like fun! What a great prize.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 9:09AM
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isn't that what Sonia King uses a lot of?
and lots of work that doesn't have to be grouted..
at least that's my memory of smalti and one of the best
reasons to use it.
funny, I've never even seen it, in real life~

you're a lucky duck to have won such a prize in a raffle...the only raffles I've entered, I"ve watched others win fabulous prizes.... :( lol

have lots of fun and even more fun on the side!

Becky, in Washington State

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 3:24PM
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haven't done any smalti work cause well, it's too expensive for me and can't afford them.
don't know what the big deal is about it though. probably this one... since it's expensive, the work needs to turn out perfect!
and as i guess, the hardest part is findind the perfectly fitting pieces. since no grouting is needed, pieces must fit each other with no gaps in between. and since these pieces are thicker than say glass, cutting them is the hardest part. it's done by hand (of course) and special tools are used to cut each piece to the wanted size/shape.

lol... not sure how much i write here is true, cause well, i haven't studied the technique, only what i have seen in pictures/videos.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 3:23AM
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I love working with smalti. It is special for sure. No other tile has quite the same reflective qualities. I can't afford it so I seldom use it but if I had the money to spend, I would use it often. Purists probably break it with a hardy and hammer, but the few times I used it I just nipped it with Leponnitt wheeled nippers.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 9:59PM
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I emailed The Chicago Mosac School this morning and asked a few questions. They answered me right away and said that the class is completely full, and I don't need to bring anything as they provide everything to make a 6 x 6 piece. They also said I should expect to have fun!

Then I got an email back from the SAMA Mosaic Marathon committee about volunteer time for the marathon project at the conference in February. And guess what that project will be done with.....SMALTI!

I am so excited to get an opportunity to learn this and then actually use it!

I promise to take lots of pictures.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:34AM
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Have fun Becky and sure... pics are mandatory!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 6:50AM
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