When it comes to cutting shapes for your mosaics, the material you are cutting/nipping and the tool you are cutting with will usually determine how you cut. In general, there are two nipping tools to use when working with mosaics; the wheeled glass nipper and the tile nipper and for larger pieces you have my favorite tool, the scorer/breaker.
The scorer/breaker is used to score and break large pieces of ceramic and glass tile to cut into smaller, more manageable shapes for nipping.
Most glass used in mosaics are stained glass chips, vitreous glass chips or mirrored glass chips. These smaller glass chips can be cut into smaller shaped using a wheeled glass nipper. When working with material like smalti, marble or ceramic tiles it is best to use a tile nipper. The way you use each nipper varies, check out the videos below to get an idea of how to use them.
To cut rectangles, simply place the chip between the wheels of the nipper and apply pressure, to make a square repeat the same procedure with the rectangle.
To cut triangles, angle the material at the corner of the chip and apply pressure.
Circles are a little trickier, if you’re not experienced, you may want to draw a circle on the glass as a guide and nip the corner of the chip and then bit away at the edges until you have a nice circle.
Keystoning can be a little tricky too; keystoning is the shaping of tiles to form a curved design. You will probably want to draw out a pattern if you are planning on incorporating curved designs. This way you can line up squares and draw a guideline on the tiles so you have a reference of where to nip.
Check out the videos below to see how to cut rectangles, squares, triangles, random shapes and circles and stop by the Diamond Tech Crafts Creative Corner for more how-to and fun project ideas.