I use the best materials possible to produce an art work that will be long lasting and of the highest quality. These are often imported and the quality is reflected in the pricing of the pieces. When making a mosaic, I cut everything by hand. Most material is suitable for either interior or exterior use.  Here is a selection of materials that I use frequently:

Vitreous Glass tile

High quality Italian tiles of moulded glasswhich come in a variety of colours and finishes including iridized.

Unglazed Ceramic tiles

Portuguese or French tile made in a variety of soft colours to give a matte look, very like stone or marble.



“A thousand flowers” in Italian. These are glass rods cut into rounds with lovely designs running through the centre.



Fused Glass Inserts

Custom pieces, made by myself, which I use to give texture and interest. Different pieces of glass are fused together at high temperatures to make a composite piece




Smalti is a traditional mosaic material oftenseen in mosaics in churches such as those in Italy and Istanbul. Glass fired at very high temperatures, it is light-refractive and produces a beautiful textured surface. There is an enormous number of colours available which enables the artist to produce subtle effects such as shading and colour gradation. I use smalti produced in Italy and in Mexico. Smalti also comes in gold and coloured golds.


Depending on the required effect, I use either the polished or the riven surface. I cut this by hand in the traditional manner using a hammer and hardie.


Text and images © 2004-2019 Marian Shapiro unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved.
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