We arrived at St. Peter's Square to a crisp breeze and slightly hazy day.
We took the "back entrance" past the exit from the Scavi to the entrance of the Studio, marked with a mosaic sign of course.
The head of the Studio, Paolo, explained its history to us before we got to see the work area. Here he shows some of the many colors the artists choose from before working on a piece.
One of the artists working on a Roman scene.
This is the vault showing some of the cubbies where the 27,000 different colors of smalti are stored.
Adriano, one of the artists, shows us a picture from his trip to Monument Valley, AZ.
We got to see the preparation of spun glass, or filati. This is a process where small cubes of smalti are heated at an extremely high temperature, until they become soft and melt together. The molten mass is then stretched out into thin rods and cooled, and the rods are then cut to desired lengths to make micro-mosaics.
A stunning Our Lady of Guadalupe mosaic that was nearly finished.
We next walked up the staircase where dignitaries and heads of State walk to be received by the Pope.....
...to Fr. Mark's office, where he explained a little bit about his work and we said our goodbyes.