top of page
Search

How the Millefiori process is carried out

Updated: Jun 18, 2023




This is a glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware. Millefiori Beads are made from glass in different colours.





The various shapes are formed by pressing upon the surface of glass canes. This special artistic technique of glass making involves the use of a number of slices of glass canes (Murrine Cane) to create a mosaic pattern, in fact the process was originally know as Mosaic. Apsley Pellatt in his book Curiosities of Glass Making was the first to use the term "millefiori", which appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1849; prior to that, the beads were called mosaic beads.


The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words "mille" (thousand) and "fiori" (flowers).


The term "millefiori" is now most frequently associated with Venetian glassware, first crafted in Venice in the 15th century.

WHAT PROCESS DID THE VENETIANS USE?


The patterns are created using moulds that are made from glass canes.


When creating Millefiori Beads, glass workers make preparations by making a small, glass globe mixture called a globule. The globule is attached to the end of a steel pole, after which it is dipped into a glass mixture made from several colours.


During each dipping, a multi-coloured layered sphere develops that grows in size.


THE MILLEFIORI CANE PROCESS CONTINUED....


The created sphere is placed in a special mould made from Millefiori glass canes (Murrine Canes) to create the required shape.


Millefiori glass canes or rods have a very plain exterior look. The interior sections, by comparison, contain beautiful floral patterns. Typical patterns created are fascinating Geometric shapes.


After being placed in the special mould, the multi-coloured layered sphere is dipped into a transparent glass mixture that leaves a shiny and round outer surface. The result is a glass-like surface finish.


THE ART OF MAKING MILLEFIORI BEADS

The skilled art of making Millefiori beads requires the rod to be cut to the desired size. The beads must still be in a semi-liquid state before they are placed into a furnace to create a smoother surface and to create other planned effects.


The beads are put in a special furnace at the required temperature in order to strengthen the glass.




The design of Millefiori beads are varied. Glass work Artists are renowned for their special skills in this field and have produced some of the most stunning and desired pieces for jewellery wear.


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MILLEFIORI GLASS