I cut by hand all marble, stone, and Italian smalti that I use in my work. The traditional hammer and hardie are the tools used for centuries to do this. The tesserae are then hand set in mortar.
Rusted odds and ends squirreled away from my walks in the neighborhood, antique porcelain given to me by a friend, broken crockery, and miscellany often provide the andamento for my work.
The smooth surface of stained glass is different from the other materials I tend to use. Cut small; used in large swaths of color; chopped and set on edge, it can evoke a variety of feelings.