TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS
The oldest mosaic technique is the cut technique.It precisely consists of cutting the mosaic material (natural marble stones, smalti ,tiles,enamels) with help of a special mosaic hammer (martellina) and of hardie fixed to a wooden log.The material is hit and split into small pieces ,thus obtaining,so to speak,the “the mosaic basic unit of measurement” or the “Tessera”.
The difficulty of this procedure varies according to the quality of the material to be cut.As far as natural stones are concerned, it is necessary to follow their physical structure , in order to orientate the cut in the right manner.Glass mosaic, Smalti and Enamels , instead, have a basic glass composition and their split is generally more complex because it is more difficult to control the direction of the cut.In order to get a clean and linear cut,the “Tessera” must be held firmly and a single hard stroke must hit the surface.Often,in fact,and in the case of enamels,the cut may result in an irregular detachment.
: Under this method Enzo Aiello places tesserae, directly into a bed made of a permanent binder of cement or other adhesive.Enzo sets stones at different inclination in order to reflect the light.As you can understand this method can be performed only at the installation place while the others can be done at the studio, also thie metodi s definitive.
The DIRECT METHOD can also be used to make mosaics by fastening tesserae to a FIBERGLASS MESH
DIRECT METHOD ON PROVVISIONAL PUDDY OR DOUBLE REVERSE METHOD
Under this method Enzo spreads a flat surfice of clay on a board of the same dimensions of the mosaic he is going to build.Then he traces the most impotant lines of the mosaic above the clay and the he starts to cut the tiles and to set them in the clay.With this method he can control the mistakes and change the stones position or shape continuosly.When the mosaic is completed he glues a cheesecloth over it. After the cheesecloth dries ,Enzo removes the clay from the back and finally he installs the mosaic in the site it was planned fo
INDIRECT METHOD :Upside down on paper mosaic
This is a technique in which Enzo glues the TESSERAE face down with a water- soluble glue on sections of paper that he prepares in advance by cutting up an actual size drawing of the mosaic’s composition.When the glue has dried ,the sections can be installed in the site they were planned for.
1)ROMAN MOSAIC (from latin “Opus Tessellatum” ):natural polycrome marble mosaic in the Roman Tradition , (stones size 1/3 of one inch)
All types of floor mosaic monochrome and polychrome marble,geometric or figurative, made with TESSERAE, cubes of stone or marble of fairly corse size,up to 2 cm.
2)BYZANTINE MOSAIC(from latin “Opus Musivum”):Venetian glass mosaics Smalti in the Byzantine style (stones size 1/3 of one inch)
the.The glass tiles tesserae and the newly introduced gold tesserae are affixed directly in place and are deliberately set at
varyingangles with the goal of reflecting light.
3)CONTEMPORARY MOSAIC : venetian glass smalti , natural marble ,semi-precious stones, pebbles,golds,stones,terracotta,unglazed tiles ,fossils
(different stones size )
4)MICROMOSAIC OPUS VERMICULATUM :Technique of the most refined mosaics (emblemata).the term vermiculatum ,from the Latin vermiculus , little worm,refers either to the tiny ,worm-like tesserae up to 4 mm, no longer in square but irregular in shape,or to the wriggling following of shapes by flow-ing lines of small tesserae.
5) MICROMOSAIC IN SMALTI FILATI called also FILATE ENAMELS TECHNIQUE:
glass enamels (size stones less than 1/25 of one inch)
In 1700, a Roman chemist Alessio Matteoli discovered how to make opaque glass in hundreds of different colors, his new development was encouraged , supported and protected by Reverenda Fabbrica di San Pietro,in Vatican.Matteoli discoveries are so jealously guarded by the Vatican that even today very few people are party to the secrets.It goes without that Matteoli’s dicoveries are exceptional;it’s enough to realize that this same opaque glass created by him, when exposed to heat,transforms itself into a malleabile substance and is easily drawn out into a thread.This allowed the creation og long thin rods less than a millimeter in dimension.Thus Giacomo Raffaelli, one of the greatest painters in mosaic , invented in 1770 the technique of micromosaic in smalti filati,glass threads.Raffaelli comes from a family of vitreous enamels manufacturers who supplied the Reverenda Fabbrica di San Pietro.He was the first to espose his works to public in 1775 .Others famous micromosaic artists are Cesare Aguatti and Michelangelo Barberi.With the technique of spun mosaic the tesserae are not made with the mosaic hammer and the hardie but with vitreous enamels and exploits their characteristic of liquefying at high temperatures.
Glass tiles are placed in a pot under a powerful flame about 900 C°.The enamel becomes viscous and sticky and can be detached from the pot and attached to a metal rod.The heated enamel material is mixed and melted with another metal rod.Then the incandescent glass is molded to the desired form and then pulled with tweezers,to obtain a thin rod. These rods can be 30 inches long and their thickness can be less than one millimeter.After they dry the micro mosaic artist incises them with a sharp file and chips them with tweezers.and can insert these becomed tesserae in the glazing putty.
This filament mosaic technique enables the production of micromosaics.In fact the more one lengthens the melted enamel material, the smaller the rod’s section becomes.This method allows the execution of microscopic tesserae and the production of incredibly minute mosaics.
Enzo is highly specialized in the enamels technique
Handmade glass tesserae .Enamelled glass material used by the Byzantine ,still manufactured in Italy at The Orsoni and Dona’ workshop.Smalti are available up to 20000 different colors and possess amazing light reflective qualities
Together with Silver, bronze and cupper these very expensive tesserae are made glueing a 24 k gold leaf over the surfices of the glass tiles.They are manufactured in Italy too
Marble and stones:
Marble tile is one of the most traditional and oldest tesserae.
The natural color variations of marble and its durability and strength make it an ideal material. It is an excellent medium for floor based mosaico
Vitreous glass tiles:
They are glass tiles with less chemical compounds like smalti ,they are goof for walls and swimming pools.They are manufactured ,with intensely bright colors,in Italy
Unglazed ceramic and Terracotta:
Unglazed tile usually has a matte finish, which means it looks more like natural clay or stone than glazed tile. In addition, the tile’s color is identical to the color of the clay. All color variations commonly found in unglazed tiles are produced by mixing different colored clays or by adding various colored minerals to the clay before firing.The most common unglazed floor tiles are quarry and unglazed porcelain
Pebbles, Rocks,Semi precious stones , Fosssils
Pebbles, rocks and beach pebbles provide and excellent option for outdoor tesserae as they are durable and hard-wearing. The natural colors that are found blend perfectly with garden based mosaics and are fantastic for creating mosaic garden stepping stones.