Just in time for the beginning of spring color is illuminating our class room: we work – now again everyone for himself – with smalts on diverse fruit motifs.
So here I am back after almost 4 months at my school desk, equipped with glass in dazzling reds, pinks and greens, pre-cut into 1 x 2 cm. After choosing and weighing the material in the Magazzino degli smalti, the smalts stock. Here at school, the consumption of material is documented properly. Every time you get new material, this is signed on a list. I wonder what happens when you exceed the 5-pound limit in this work :-).
My motive is a strawberry in closeup. And the good piece introduces me to a new ordeal. Because this mosaic is made in reverse method, a rovescio. So the aim is to leave as little space as possible between the tesserae, intertwining them like pieces of a puzzle. As with the first work in the Facchina method precise cutting is necessary.
Well, cutting glass to pyramid-shaped pieces is a challenge. At least, if you try to form them with a smooth cut. When I looked at my desk on friday I realized to have produced a nice pile of shambles in a few days. But to me this seems normal, as I have worked only few times with smalts, and never in this precise manner. So after the marble experience I had to get used to the hand-made material that clearly shatters into 1000 parts much easier than stone and is very sensitive to the hammer. But slowly it works. The glass no longer slitters on the tagliolo, the parts actually break at the point that I want them to and it begins to be real fun. So I am confident: a more decisive cut, a lot of patience and the mosaic is finished in time for strawberry season. And then I will get myself a large ice cream sundae. Gusto fragola, of course.