STONE SUPPLIES — WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Above, some samples of the standard colours I like to have for Roman mosaic work. Black, (off)white, red, green, yellow.
  1. Left. Hornblende, a common rock it does have the appearance of granite without the hardness. The colour is ok, not a really deep black because of the silver flecks in it but it is always good to have a cheap source of black.
  2. I don’t know the name of this stone, it is a very light brown, the black flecks in this do give it a darker shade. Can be used as a light brown
  3. Centre. Another very light brown this time with white striations (stripe or stripes of contrasting colour). As suitable as 2 above as a light brown but i would use one or the other and not both in the same mosaic.
  4. White with green striations, can be used as a very pale green but it would depend on how much of the stone has the green in otherwise you could be doing a lot of cutting for only a small amount of tesserae
  5. Far right. Pale green, as a contrast it works fine against another green but it is too light a shade to be used on it’s own as green.
  1. Hard to cut almost like granite.
  2. A fairly clean cut so this is about the best one in terms of cutting.
  3. Does tend to follow fault lines in the stone. About the easiest one to cut just watch out for where the lines are.
  4. Crystalline stone, you need to make quite a fast cut with this to ensure you get straight lines.
  5. Another crystalline stone but easier to get a straight line than with number 4.

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I’m a former ITU nurse now a mosaicist specialising in ancient Greek & Roman mosaics. I teach, publish training manuals and run courses online & in person.

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Lawrence Payne

Lawrence Payne

I’m a former ITU nurse now a mosaicist specialising in ancient Greek & Roman mosaics. I teach, publish training manuals and run courses online & in person.

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