I had the mosaic cutting tool set of hammer and hardie for longer than I want to admit, waiting until I found a log to use as a base. Finally, I found Ted Frumkin‘s woodworking studio in Western PA, and he was able to take a piece of Catalpa just the right size and clean it up for me and ship it across the state, just in time for a monster snow storm!
Stratoz came charging up the stairs with a big box, and it was my log! We didn’t even get mail the day before that, so this was very exciting. He heaved the log up onto my drawing table, and now we need to drill a hole and sink the hardie. Then I will be set to use the traditional technique for cutting smalti, still favored in Italy.
I learned to use this tool at a mosaic workshop at Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program. You balance the piece of glass smalti on the finely honed edge of the hardie and tap it with the hammer and it shears into pieces. Smalti can be a challenge to nip with wheeled mosaic nippers, so I’m looking forward to getting to know my new tool!