The micromosaic or minute mosaic originated in Rome at the end of the XVIII century when the mosaicist Giacomo Raffaelli (1753 -1836) invented a flinty mixture that could be spun and turned into wands from which he obtained tiny pieces that he used in 1775 to produce micromosaics.
The raw material for micromosaic was the glassy pasta composed by fused silice mixed with metallic oxides (fluxes, dyes and opacifying)..
It was the result of a procedure of workmanship which started from an incandescent glassy paste from which thin wands were obtained.
In the second half of the ‘700 the mosaicists of the Vatican Study who had worked at the mosaic decoration of the Basilica of S. Pietro in Rome, almost finished, remained without occupation and many of them began to work freelance, realizing the first mosaics with tiny pieces.
In that period (the Grand Tour) the European aristocracy, visiting the Italian cities of art, particularly Rome, contributed to the birth of various artisan laboratories where souvenirs of high quality were realized, among which also micromosaici of any form and dimension, representing, in the beginning, neoclassic subjects and then scenes of Roman monuments, flowers, animals and popular life.
It is interesting to notice that from the first half of the 800 also the Vatican Study started to realize micromosaici destined to the sale.
Our firm has taken back with success this particular technique, bringing some variations due to the evolving of some of the materials employed and of the tools of workmanship.
Our micromosaics are realized completely by hand, using pieces of spun enamel Murano glass and reduced in wands long around 30 cms., wide around 2-3 mm. and of thickness of around 1mm.
The first phase consists in the choice of the subject to reproduce in mosaic and in the creation of the design from the mosaicist.
Then the wands are cut (the dimensions vary from 1 to 3mm.) and inserted with direct technique in a container of slate (blackboard) or brass on a base of mastic or plaster following the sketch of departure, previously brought on the support.
Once completed the mosaic can be then polished give it a smooth surface, if we wish to follow the Roman tradition, or leave it raw.