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What Are Micro Mosaics?

Friday, 6 October 2017 16:01:35 Europe/London

Micro mosaics (also spelt micromosaics) are a special form of this craft using particularly small pieces of glass, or, in later Italian pieces, an enamel-type material, to create images. Some micro mosaic examples survive from ancient Roman times, and they were also fashioned during the Renaissance period in Italy, and reached the height of their popularity in the middle of the 1800s.

A Vatican Mosaic Studio was established from 1576 to create mosaic replicas of the altarpieces in Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica. And micromosaics were eagerly snapped up by those doing the Grand Tour, the upper-class custom of travelling across Europe that was popular from around 1660 until the mid-1800s, because these mosaics could easily be taken back home.

One distinctive characteristic of micromosaics is that their individual tiles tend to be rectangular rather than squared. And there are sometimes thousands of tesserae or tiles in every square inch.

Micromosaic Jewellery

Around the time when Grand Tours were most popular, those in wealthy European families would commission their own mosaics and wear them as jewellery or send them home as an early form of postcard. Jewellery typically depicted famous Italian landmarks, although sometimes items showed aspects of Roman mythology.

Today, the best micro collections are to be found in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg Russia, and the Gilbert Collection in London, while Asia has also been the producer of a number of present-day examples, thanks to the use of modern precision machinery.

Mosaic Craft Tiles from Hobby Island Mosaics

At Hobby Island Mosaics, we’re a leading supplier of mosaic craft tiles and everything associated with them, including tools, grouting, glue, bases, pigments and whole kits. Can’t find what you’re looking for? If we don’t already stock something you need, let us know and we’ll source it for you. But you won’t find a greater selection of tiles anywhere else, or a greater variation of designs, thanks to our extensive network of suppliers worldwide.

Benefits to buying from us include a robust returns policy (that means a 14-day no quibble money back guarantee), an excellent customer service and the high quality of our products. All orders are processed on the day we receive them, and the majority of our customers receive their items within 24 hours, since our stock is held in the UK. We don’t want our customers to get frustrated while they’re waiting for their supplies in the middle of a project! You’ll also find our website is highly user-friendly.

If you have any queries, either before placing your order or afterwards, we’re here to help. We’re at the other end of the phone during office hours and via email all the time. And because our customer service advisors use the products themselves, they’re highly knowledgeable and very well-placed to offer support.
Finally, delivery options are flexible, with orders under 2kg sent via Royal Mail First Class and everything heavier is sent with a tracked courier service. There’s more online.

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Comments | Posted in Tile Types and Specifications By Thomas Arribehaute

What Are Vitreous Tiles?

Friday, 6 October 2017 15:46:15 Europe/London

Vitreous tiles are made of glass and are designed to absorb under 3% moisture. They are also occasionally called frost-resistant tiles. Although they can be used outside, if they are used in conditions which freeze and then thaw, they may crack.

Because they tend to be laid densely, and have compression strength, they are often used on floors. But vitreous glass is also frequently used in craft mosaics and can add a splash of colour to any room – they are no longer confined to kitchens and bathrooms as they once were. (However, they are ideal where water resistance is needed.)

Vitreous glass mosaic tiles can also be a good choice in heavy traffic areas like home entrances, given their durable, non-slip surfaces. (However, given their soft protective glaze, not all of these tiles are appropriate for flooring applications.)

These tiles are very hardwearing, and UVA-resistant, and can be used without cutting, making them very suitable for craft sessions with younger people, or for those who have less experience of mosaic making.

Vitreous mosaic tiles come in sheets which may be mounted on to walls directly and are an elegant looking alternative to other kinds of wall coverings.
These tiles usually comes in sheets, glued to a paper backing which means the tiles can be easily installed wherever you want them to go. If you remove the paper, you can work with the tiles individually, and finish the tile job using grout.

Removing Paper from Uninstalled Tiles

Place the sheets of mosaic tiles in a bucket of hot, soapy water, and allow them to soak for a couple of hours. Afterwards, the paper should lift away easily from the tiles. But, if it doesn’t, just give them another hour’s soaking before trying again.

If tiles have already been installed, use a damp sponge to moisten the paper that is on the top of the installed tiles. Let it soak in for a few minutes, then peel away, working in a diagonal direction from one corner to an opposite one. Try soaking again for a few more minutes if it doesn’t come away at first.

Mosaic Tiles from Hobby Island

At Hobby Island Mosaics, we have an extensive range of vitreous glass mosaic tiles from leading producers, giving you stacks of choice to help you realise your craft project in your favourite colours or designs. You’ll also love our prices!

But we don’t just stock these kinds of craft mosaic tiles! Whether you need information, tools, patterns or “how to” information, we can help. After all, we’re one of the UK’s top suppliers of these kinds of products.

Our website has lots of information to help you select the items you need, and inspirational suggestions for designs.

There are plenty of other reasons to buy your kit from us as well, including superlative customer service, the quality of our products and our robust policy when it comes to returns. We’re also able to help during normal office hours over the phone, or all the time via email.

There’s more online.

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Comments | Posted in Tile Types and Specifications By Thomas Arribehaute

Bring Past To Present With Millefiori

Friday, 6 October 2017 15:40:42 Europe/London

Millefiori is a popular glasswork technique used to create distinctive, colourful and decorative patterns on glassware, ranging from handmade jewellery and fashion items to ornamental decor for the home.

It’s estimated that the technique originated in Ancient Roman times, with evidence of millefiori tiles traced back to as early as the 7th century. The technical knowledge required to create the canes used for cutting the tiles was lost by the eighteenth century and was not revived until the nineteenth, when its popularity surged and millefiori became a renowned fine glass art form all across Europe.

As bright splashes of colour and large, oversized accents are core trends for the spring and summer months this year, both in terms of fashion and home decor; millefiori mosaic crafts are an ideal way to channel the trends in an entirely unique and creative way.

Home Decor

In terms of home decor, the options for creating with millefiori are endless.

If you have a plain glass vase, bowl, dish, candle holder or even a set of wine glasses, you can easily incorporate millefiori into these items to give them a complete update; taking pride of place in your home as an on-trend art work rather than hiding in the back of the kitchen cabinets.

When millefiori resurged in the nineteenth century, creating glass paperweights was the most popular method of incorporating this technique into everyday use. Glassware such as this, which is most often seen as nothing more than a practical addition to the home, can be replaced with millefiori ornaments to create a much more stylish and welcoming environment.

Jewellery and Accessories

A pop of colour is easy to achieve with a few key pieces of millefiori jewellery. Plus, as fashion is all about being unique and showing your personality; by wearing a millefiori piece you have made yourself, you can make a style statement all of your own.

Create necklace pendants from scratch by simply drilling a hole in your creation and looping through some rope, or purchase ring, pendant, earring or bracelet blanks upon which you can mount your designs.

Millefiori techniques can also be applied to everything from watches and belt buckles, to barettes and bobby pins; so why not let your imagination run wild and make a true fashion statement this year?

Unique Gifts

If you’re on the lookout for a unique gift for a friend or relative, why not consider creating a millefiori design? Keyrings, bag charms, mirror compacts and even bottle stoppers can incorporate this technique, and will undoubtedly be better-received than a store-bought present.

Millefiori at Hobby Island

At Hobby Island we only offer our customers genuine mosaic craft tiles, all of which are manufactured using high-quality materials to ensure their longevity and performance, whatever your project.

Whether you’re looking for a mix of various colours or would prefer to stick to a particular colour scheme, we can provide the ideal selection to suit your needs. Our millefiori tiles are available with various effects, including flowers, stars, moons and abstract shapes in opaque and translucent designs, so you can be sure of finding exactly what you need here at Hobby Island.

To view our selection of millefiori tiles, mosaic tools and mosaic tile kits, please browse through our website.

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Comments | Posted in Tile Types and Specifications By Thomas Arribehaute
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