Using Mexican Smalti

Smalti is a traditional mosaic material and can be seen in mosaics in churches such as those in Italy and Turkey as well as in many modern mosaics. Perdomo Mexican smalti from the standard and iridescent palettes comes ready cut in pieces of varying sizes, typically around 12 mm x 8 mm.  It is between 5 mm to 6 mm thick and can be cut with either a hammer and hardie, or mosaic wheeled cutters.  Golds are slightly thinner and come in cut pieces about 8-10 mm square.  They can be used either gold face up or gold face down.

Traditionally, smalti is laid very tightly, and left ungrouted.  This method emphasises the play of light over the material.  It can be grouted if desired, which results in a flatter, less textured effect.


One kg of smalti from the standard and iridescent palettes covers approximately 750 sq cm, that is, an area 27cm x 27cm.  This figure allows for 10% wastage. Another way to calculate it is 14 kgs per sq metre.


Click here for adhesives information.




The colour and texture on the face of the smalti is different from that on the base, allowing the artist to create subtle shading effects.  When ordering, please note that the colour may vary slightly from batch to batch so be sure to order enough to complete your current project.  To help you in this, we have a returns policy.




Recycled Material Content

The extent of materials being recycled during the manufacturing process is becoming of major importance throughout the industrial world. Perdomo is responding to this challenge in a number of ways. They are ensuring that now any scrap material generated during the production of the lighter colours is added to the mix for the darker colours. For example, the glass pebbles use between 10% to 50% of recycled material, depending on colour. Also they are quite proud of the fact that their glass furnaces can burn waste engine oil, so ensuring that what would otherwise be a waste product is put to industrial use.