My process for making micro-mosaics is virtually unchanged from how they’ve been making micro-mosaics for the past 500 hundred years. I begin with larger 24K gold mosaic tiles which have been handmade on the island of Murano, just north of Venice, Italy. To make these tiles – each one done by hand by a glass worker who applies a thin sheet of 24KY gold onto a giant molten bubble of handblown glass, which then gets covered by another layer of glass, sandwiching in and protecting the layer of 24K gold. This top layer of glass can either be clear or colored depending on the design. I then hand cut each of these tiles into hundreds of small pieces or ‘tesserae’, before assembling them into my mosaic designs, and then setting them into their frameworks.
Unlike traditional grouted mosaic work, where pieces can be spaced with gaps in between, micro-mosaics must be cut to fit ‘edge to edge’ with no spacing in between the tesserae – so an extreme amount of precision is needed to ensure each finished mosaic’s success.