Glass Mosaic Tile Art – Tessera Types

Making wonderful glass mosaic tile art is easy! Let me show you how.

Tesserae are the pieces arranged and adhered to the base material to create your mosaic design. They can be of any material and shape. Do not limit yourself to the common tessera types. Use your imagination. Try buttons and other fun or unusual material. For example, I once saw a family picture collage with a mosaic frame that included one baby tooth from each grandchild. Be creative!

"Tesserae" is the plural of tessera (Latin). In the context of mosaics, tessera means, "a cube; a piece of mosaic paving." "Tesserae" is pronounced TESS-uh-ree, and "tessera" is pronounced TESS-er-uh.

Plan your mosaic before jumping in. Do not go off willy-nilly getting a bunch of tessera material without considering the basics. Where will you display the mosaic (eg, indoors or outdoors, which will determine if you need weatherproof tesserae)? Are you making wall art or a stepping stone (which will determine if you can use sharp or pointy tesserae)? Think about how much tessera material you need to complete the job. Plan your work. Know what you need before buying, collecting, or making your material.

The various types of vitreous glass, stained glass, and smalti are probably the most common tessera materials, especially for mosaic wall art. However, artists have managed to create beautiful mosaic works using just about anything. The following list should give you ideas on what you can use to create your mosaic masterpieces. Have fun and let your imagination run wild. Here are some tessera materials to consider using for your next project: millefiori, ceramic tile (useact or broken pieces), crockery (use broken pieces), marbles and glass gems, buttons, shells (intact or broken pieces), keys, beads , coins, stones and pebbles, plastic doodads, metal shapes, costume jewelry, and hardware (screws, nails, nuts, bolts).

Some of these materials may seem odd, but you never know what a creative artist can do with them. For example, I suspect that someone somewhere can turn a pile of rusty nails into a beautiful mosaic that would be a great gift for a building contractor. Do not let anything inhibit your imagination. Nothing is too crazy. Sometimes the best ideas are the craziest.

Remember, making mosaic art is easy. You can do it. Yes, you can!