All About Smalti with Anabella Wewer

Learn all the basics for working with Italian and Mexican Smalti

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All About Smalti is Mosaic Arts Online's response to multiple requests for a primer on everything smalti. We brought Anabella Wewer in to explain indepth how to cut waste when using smalti and share her tips and tricks on how to work with it. Anabella explains how smalti is made, the differences between Italian, Mexican, and recycled smalti, and how those differences affect how each looks within a mosaic. In this course you learn good practices when cutting material of different sizes, from a pizza to the more commonly available A-cuts. Though Anabella's preferred tool is the hammer & hardie, she occasionally uses nippers, mainly to cut gold smalti, and here you will learn how to cut with a variety of nippers and understand the differences and advantages of each of them. Though only possible with a hammer, you will also learn how to facet smalti for a beautiful look. With all the material cut, Anabella then goes on to make a small composition, pointing out along the way how to set smalti within a bed of thinset, the importance of working clean, and how to avoid pitfalls while setting tesserae. As andamento is her mosaic language, she spends a little time explaining sdoppiamento (how to split a line) and how to use it when introducing different colors within a line. As a bonus, we've added a section from Anabella's Color Theory in Mosaics course which covers color gradations in smalti and how suppliers' sample boards can help in determining how to make successful ones. This wealth of information is yours to watch as many times as you wish, in perpetuity, with unlimited log-in access to the platform, and the ability to ask questions which will be responded to within the page accompanying each segment.

Your Instructor

Anabella Wewer
Anabella Wewer

A graphic designer by profession, and a native of Caracas, Venezuela, Anabella is an internationally exhibited mosaic artist and passionate metalsmith. She is co-founder, and has been Creative Director of Black Box, a studio specializing in Web-based applications, since 1994. After discovering mosaics as fine art during a trip to the Vatican in 2004, she started taking mosaic classes in the United States, but quickly made the decision to train mostly in Italy. Her work is rooted in a sense of place and time, with a distinctive graphic feel that often incorporates type and her love of maps and fossils. Her passion for materials and history inform her work and push her to explore new territory grounded in time-proven rules and principles. Her background as a typographer guides her work, exploring the language of materials and technique to tell stories. "When I put hand to metal or stone, I aim to bring the viewer into a narrative, to provide questions to consider. I am intrigued by frozen moments in time; I like to imagine what came before and what follows. Place and time, their changing and their passing, and trying to capture their impermanence is my main artistic directive,” says Anabella of both her jewelry and mosaic work.

Anabella has studied Ravenna mosaic technique with Luciana Notturni, in Ravenna, Italy; stone micro-mosaic and opus vermiculatum with Arianna Gallo and Luca Barberini of Koko Mosaico in Ravenna; filati micro-mosaics with Maestro Carlo Meloni (Rome); abstract and modern mosaics with Verdiano Marzi (Ravenna/Paris), Dugald MacInnes (Scotland), Matteo Randi (Ravenna) and Dino Maccini (Piacenza) as well as with Valeria Manzo, Dagmar Friedrich and Laura Carraro at the Scuola Mosaicisti dei Friuli, Spillimbergo; and honed her skills using native materials with Rachel Sager; color in mosaics with Carol Shelkin, and got her beginnings under the guidance of Gina Hubler (Pennsylvania). Her native languages are Spanish and Portuguese, and she also speaks English and Italian. She lives in Macungie, Pennsylvania.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
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