The Path to


A difficult but most enjoyable journey


A miniature glass mosaic someone referred to as a "micromosaic," a term coined by Sir Arthur Gilbert, inspired me to learn more about the artform. The journey had begun. That crude little mosaic led me  to  pictures of the micromosaics made in Rome in the late 1700's.  I discovered these pictures in 1995, and they ignited in me an overwhelming desire to make an authentic micromosaic.  I had not seen firsthand an authentic micromosaic until July of 1998 (nine months after I had created my first micromosaic!) when I had the great fortune of being invited to Sir Arthur Gilbert's home to view his collection.  

I trusted that if a person looked long and hard enough, she could find someone to teach her just about anything; well, anything except how to make a micromosaic!   After many months of searching but not finding a master with whom to study, I began looking for written resources.  I poured through mosaic book after mosaic book finding only a few scant passages about micromosaics, but not a clue as to how to make them.  Was the art form extinct?

The helpful staff of The Rakow Library at the Corning Museum of Glass provided an important stepping stone in my journey. With their help, I learned of The Gilbert Collection and the nature of authentic fine-art micromosaics, often referred to as Roman micromosaics. Jeanette Hanisee Gabriel, Curator of The Gilbert Collection, had collected only three or four paragraphs of technical information pertaining to the production of micromosaics which she had managed to uncover after years of research.  This provided but few clues as to how these tiny treasures might have been made.  The scarcity of information on micromosaic technique was consistent with the Italian glass industry's tradition of secrecy.  Since then, Ms. Gabriel has published a wonderful book on micromosaics in which an essay written by Judy Rudoe provides historical information on some of the technical aspects of the production of micromosaics. 

The modern technical revival of the lost fine art of micromosaic occurred in my studio over the course of some very intense years filled with innumerable experiments and explorations of the properties of many materials.  Ever since my first encounter with a micromosaic, my desire has been to create contemporary micromosaics of the finest quality.  Blessings of good fortune have guided my hard work and allowed me to discover and in many cases reinvent all of the very specialized techniques that constitute the production of a micromosaic, not least of which is the manufacture of the highly specialized glass required to make the microtesserae that find their place in my micromosaics.

My journey began in 1995 inspired by photographs of micromosaics.  At the end of a three year  immersion in  ”successful failures,” I made my first micromosaic, "California Poppy," which I completed in  1998 after nine months.  And so the journey continues as I learn from and grow with an art form I truly love.



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© 1998 - 2000 Laura Hiserote, all rights reserved.
last updated December 1, 2003