Working “a giornata” (It. “by the day”)
In a complex mosaic it is essential that the artist considers how many tesserae can be placed in the mortar before it dries out.
The name comes from the ancient times, when lime mortar was used; the workers would spread a layer of mortar over a section that could be finished within the working day.
Today we have technologically advanced mortars, which give much less freedom, i.e. an average of twenty minutes.
Thus, two things are important:
- determine what surface can be covered with tesserae within twenty minutes
- leave no sharp edges between one “day” and the other, otherwise the “break” will leave a visible trace.