I recently visited Ravenna, Italy, where there are masterpieces of mosaics from the 4th century and up. They were a real surprise to me because they were so fresh in design, color and lines. Many are from the Byzantine age, so they are completely full of texture. There are 8 World Heritage sites in the city of Ravenna, with 6 of them being sites that are decorated in mosaics. It was a very inspiring visit, and reinforces the thought that nothing is new in Art. The density of color and complexity of design exemplify the more is more concept. The glass pieces are 1 cm. and smaller!
The photo showing the 3 floors and ceiling is from S. Vitale, the best known of the mosaic sites. The glass pieces that make up the mosaics are placed at slightly different angles, so they catch the light, and are very reflective, even after 1500 years.
Gold was often used for it's reflective quality, but doesn't
show up well in the photo's. You'll just have to go!