The paste is removed from the melting pot

The fundamental ingredients for the smalti are exactly the same used in the production of glass : sand and soda, subsequently enriched with opacifying and oxides. These ingredients, along with the coloring agents, are heated in furnaces at extremely high temperatures to create a glass paste.The magic and artistry of Orsoni smalti lies in the masterful creation of color. Master glassmakers know this stage as "tirare il colore" (drawing out the color) and it is without a doubt the most difficult and delicate stage of the entire operation.
Thousands of different colors can be obtained from just a few dozen oxides and Orsoni uses secret family ‘recipes’ handed down through four generations to acquire the incredible tone and intensity of their smalti.

Colour selection

When the color and firing have reached the desired point- and this may take days- the fused molten paste is removed from the melting pot using gestures and movements that have been repeated millions of times, as though in a sort of ritual. The long, heavy spoon is beaten rhythmically on the work surface, the glowing ball of glass is squeezed and flattened into oblong slabs, and then the slabs are slowly and methodically annealed (cooled Once the precise annealing process has been completed, it is time for the preparation of the "tesserae" and every tessera created Orsoni is cut by hand!
The large glass slabs are first sliced into rods with the aid of a diamond blade and then chipped down into small rectangles with the rhythmic strokes of old and rudimentary manually-operated cutting machines Up until now we have talked about tesserae, but it is important to draw the distinction between small glass tile and "tesserae" in the true sense of the word.

The cutting machine

Glass tile are cut in bands directly from the surface of the glass slab, creating relatively regular, smooth and even squares which, it must be admitted, are far less interesting than tesserae. Orsoni smalti, on the other hand, is rectangular in shape, and is intriguing precisely because it is cut at an angle to the glass slab. It is the sheared, cut side of the glass, which serves as the top surface of the tesserae. It is this cut that gives Orsoni smalti its reflective, shimmering brilliance that just cannot be matched