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Watershed © 1998 Sonia King
Watershed by Sonia King

Smalti tiles are handmade tesserae from Italy. They are the traditional enamelled glass material used by the Roman and Byzantine mosaicists and are made in large irregular circles and then cut into slightly uneven rectangles.

Smalti tiles are very expensive and as they are small they cover very little area, however they are very beautiful. They are found in many famous mosaics around the world including the Sistine Chapel in Italy.

Smalti are available in a vast range of colors and possess amazing light reflective qualities. Because they generally have an uneven surface when used in Mosaics you do not always have to grout the tiles.

Gold and Silver Smalti

Gold and silver smalti is a normal smalti tile with gold, white gold or silver pressed in between two layers of glass.

These types of gold and silver smalti are handmade and more expensive than normal smalti tiles however look fantastic and you only need a small number to create a huge effect. Even when using a few pieces sparingly they can add sparkle and transform an otherwise dull mosaic into a glimmering work of art!

Smalti Tile Suppliers

DickBick Art Materials supplies a great range of different colored smalti tiles in typical slightly irregular smalti shapes that can be ordered in selected color packages.

Alternatively, MisterArt supplies a good smalti tile assortment that features a collection of tile colors in the one package.

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