Mosaic Materials - different types of tesserae
A brief list of the various materials which can be used as tesserae.
Vitreous (non porous & frost proof in a wide range of colours, smooth on the surface and ridged on the back for better adhesion)
Iridised (reflective quality)
Marbled (contrasting & complimentary marbled colours)
Metalic (semi-transparent solid colour with gold/bronze veins)
Gold & Silver Leaf (famously used in Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna)
Millefiori (round handmade Murano, Italian feature tesserae of 'a thousand flowers' dating back to 15th century)
Sicis (Italian square tesserae with rounded corners)
Smalti (handmade Italian rectangular bricks of opaque glass used in Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna. Best left ungrouted due to its naturally occuring bubbled surface.)
Unglazed (most commonly from France & Portugal. Terracotta tesserae featured in some of the very early mosaics of Sumeria)
Glazed (eg wall tiles)
Marble (often sold in rods)
Chippings (used in Roman mosaics cut into cubes)
The list is endless, virtually any material can be used to make a mosaic!
Mosaic Artist (UK based)