What Are The Methods of Applying Tesserae?

July 12, 2017

What Are The Methods of Applying Tesserae?

There are many different methods of apply tesserae. Each one gives your mosaic a different look, so we will go over all the different methods. Opus refers to the method or style of laying tesserae to form a mosaic. Andamento is the flow of a mosaic design and is determined by direction of the tesserae placement and grout lines.

1 Opus Tesselatum

Tesserae, similar in size and shape, are applied in horizontal and vertical rows to form an unobtrusive background grid for the main design elements of a mosaic.

2 Opus Regulatum

Tesserae of the same shape and size are laid in rows, either vertical or horizontal, similar to the pattern of a brick wall. The tesserae are staggered in each row so that the interstices from one row to the next do not line up to form a grid pattern.

3 Opus Vermiculatum

Tesserae are positioned in one or more rows around the perimeter of a larger piece or design element. The tesserae rows outline and accentuate images and lines in the mosaic pattern creating visual interest and depth.

4 Opus Musivum

An extension of the opus vermiculatum method, continual rows of tesserae are applied, radiating outward from an integral piece or image to the mosaic perimeter. The adamento of the tesserae creates a vibrant design.

5 Opus Sectile

Similar in style to a stained glass window, each tessera is cut and configured to a form a specific shape within the overall mosaic design.

6 Random

As the term implies tesserae of varying shapes and sizes are randomly placed to fill specific areas and/or the background of the mosaic.


As you can see there a different methods of applying tesserae, contact us to see which method you should use when you would like to make your own mosaic.




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