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At MosaicSmalti.com, we are passionate about the fine art of mosaic and dedicated to serving the artists who create them.The creation of smalti starts with the same basic ingredients used to make other types of glass... sand, soda and stabilizing compounds. These ingredients, along with the coloring agents, are heated in furnaces at extremely high temperatures to create a glass paste.
The magic and artistry of Orsoni smalti lies in the masterful creation of color. This stage is known by master glassmakers as "tirare il colore" (drawing out the color) and it is without a doubt the most difficult and delicate stage of the entire operation. Thousands of different colors can be obtained from just a few dozen oxides and Orsoni uses secret family ‘recipes’ handed down through four generations to acquire the incredible tone and intensity of their smalti.
When the color and firing have reached the desired point- and this may take days- the fused molten paste is removed from the melting pot using gestures and movements that have been repeated millions of times, as though in a sort of ritual. The long, heavy spoon is beaten rhythmically on the work surface, the glowing ball of glass is squeezed and flattened into oblong slabs, and then the slabs are slowly and methodically annealed (cooled).