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G is for Gold Smalti

Gold Sunflower Mandala for Dr. Ed and his family by Margaret Almon.
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Gold Sunflower Mandala for Dr. Ed and his family by Margaret Almon.

G is for gold smalti, luscious, glowing, gold.  As smalti from Orsoni is described at mosaicsmalti.com,

“. . .it is real 24-carat gold. It has to be the purest gold to withstand a firing and beating process that obtains the incredible results. With just one cubic centimeter of gold, more than six square meters of beaten gold may be produced in a layer so fine that it is scarcely perceptible to the human eye. The gold leaf is then sandwiched between a transparent glass base and a fine, hand-blown glass that protects the surface. The three elements, heated once again, are welded into a single slab that is free of cracks even in the most minute fragments.”

I was smitten with gold smalti from the moment I received a few precious pieces in a grab bag of miscellaneous smalti.  It’s usually sold by the ounce or by the piece, and it’s fortunate that a little goes a long way.  This is what makes Byzantine Churches glow.  This is what grabs the light and gives it back to you with incredible depth and intense color.

I made this mandala almost entirely from gold smalti, as a gift for Dr. Ed Schillinger and his family, when he was dealing with pancreatic cancer.  He was a kind man, and in his memory Stratoz makes “Dr. Ed Mandalas” with a portion of the proceeds going to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network(PANCAN).  Another G word is Give, and I encourage you to contribute toward pancreatic cancer research.


Over at Stratoz:  Shockingly, G is for Glass



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