What Are The Different Types Of Materials One Can Use To Make Mosaics?

What are the different types of materials one can use to make mosaics? The pieces of the mosaic are actually called tessera, which is the Latin word for cube. The sky is the limit as far as materials...

The pieces of the mosaic are actually called tessera, which is the Latin word for cube. The sky is the limit as far as materials, but the most commonly used are stone, marble, travertine, glass, smalti glass (which was developed in the Byzantine era), stained glass, mirror, seashells, pebbles, ceramic tiles, floor tile, wall tile, really anything broken into pieces. A lot of people are using technique called pique assiette, which means broken plates or stolen plates actually. Many different things have been used, but those are the most popular types of tessera.


If you were stranded on an island you could probably like smash up something on a rock. It could be as simple as a hammer and a leather glove and pair of goggles. After that you get into many different types of nippers, tile nippers and specialty mosaic nippers. There is a huge range of tools that one can either use or not use, but there are different tools that make the shaping of different tessera easier. If you get started with a zigzag, a leather palm glove, a pair of goggles, and either a pair of tiled nippers or pair of wheeled nippers you can get pretty far with those tools.




I am going to use this opportunity to plug my own retail shop, which is called Mosaic Studio Supply. We are located in California, but we do mail order. We have a 800 square foot retail store, which caters specifically to mosaic artists and people who are interested in the mosaic arts especially beginners and we have staff that can help people to decide what direction they want to go, what kind of medium they want to work with, and what kinds of tools are supplied to suit their budget.

You can also make your own materials from broken dishes, old tiles, or almost anything sitting around the house. There are more and more mosaic supply stores starting to crop up across the United States. Even though it's a 2000 year old art form, it's sort of a new industry in a way.

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