What is the difference between Mexican and Italian smalti?

The first and largest difference is cut. Both production techniques pour a puddle of molten glass. In Italy it is called a pizza, in Mexico a tortilla.

Do you grout smalti?

Does smalti in a mosaic need to be grouted? The irregular surfaces and air bubbles in smalti make grouting difficult. Traditionally, smalti in mosaics were positioned very tightly and not grouted.

What are smalti tiles?

Smalti is traditional hand-cut mosaic glass that has a different look and feel from molded tile. This is the glass to use for reproducing antique mosaic art, icons, or making modern interpretations of classical designs.

What is smalti made of?

Byzantine glass mosaic tile or smalti is the type of opaque glass tile used in classical Byzantine mosaics. Smalti is not molded into uniform shapes like modern glass mosaic tile. Smalti is made by mixing glass and various minerals according to traditional recipes and melting the mixture in a furnace.

What is Filati?

The term “filati” is the past participle of the Italian “filare”, or “to string”. Filati are made by expert artisans by heating smalti and pulling thin, uniform strands. By cutting the strands and using them vertically, you get extremely small tesserae, which allows you to work in very fine detail.

Do you grout smalti mosaics?

It more resembles a piece of tile. The working surface of the Mexican smalti is the top or bottom of the tortilla and has a fairly smooth surface without bubbles. It can be set direct with or without grout, because of its smooth surface, consistent thickness and lack of bubbles.

How do you lay smalti?

Traditionally, smalti is laid very tightly, and left ungrouted. This method emphasises the play of light over the material. It can be grouted if desired, which results in a flatter, less textured effect.