I am really enjoying working with the Mexican smalti. There really is nothing like it for color and texture. It's harder to work with than the other glass that I've used. It is much easier to make a bad cut. It would be nice to take the advanced hammer techniques workshop at the American Mosaic Summit, but I weighed the choice of taking one workshop or coming home with $220 more glass and other supplies. Supplies won.
The hard thing about getting more proficient with the hammer and hardie is that you end up wasting so much smalti and smalti is so expensive. That's probably why the workshop is so expensive; they know you're going to chew through a bunch of smalti.
Here is last night's progress on the Dragon.