Category Archives: Crafting

Genuine Murano Glass Beads


(Cont’d)  For the first part please read here.

There were a lot of Murano’s historical glass factories and some of them remain well known brands today; the oldest glass factory is Antica Vetreria Fratelli Toso which was founded in 1854. Today only few factories use the Artistic Glass Murano® trade mark of origin, that certifies products in glass made on the island of Murano.

In the same time, there are also  a lot of other producers that use their own name and still produce in Murano original Murano Glass too.

Special tools are essential for Murano artisans to make their glass. Some of these tools include borselle (tongs or pliers used to hand-form the red-hot glass), canna da soffio (blowing pipe), pontello (an iron rod to which the craftsman attaches the object after blowing in order to add final touches), scagno (the glass-master’s workbench) and tagianti (large glass-cutting clippers).

To create Murano millefiori beads, a small, rough molten glass globe is made. The globule is placed on the end of a steel pole and dipped into molten glass made from different colors. This gives a multi-colored layered sphere that grows in size after each dipping.

This sphere is pushed into moulds made from Murano canes to give the millefiori shape. Note that although Murano canes or rods look plain from the outside, the inside has intricate floral patterns. Other common patterns in these canes or rods are geographical shapes and stars.

After this, the sphere is dipped into transparent molten glass for a round and shiny exterior since the mold gives it an embossed finish.

A long steel pole is attached to the end of the sphere and when the glass melts, it is gently pulled into a rod of the desired thickness. The rod is then sliced into the desired size to give Murano millefiori beads.

While the beads are still semi-molten, they are placed in frames to give them a smoother feel and to create other desired effects. After this, the piece is placed in a kiln with a pre-determined temperature and annealing is done to give the glass strength.

Murano millefiori beads are usually bright-colored and the beads are usually longer than the conventional beads.


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Filed under Crafting

Genuine Murano glass beads

IMG_5274 IMG_5279 Just finished these pairs of earrings using Murano beads and sterling silver. You could see more about them here. The history of glass bead making became a major industry starting from the 12th century in Venice, Italy, when a relatively small guild operated from the northern area of the city, in Murano – a small Venetian island. Actually it started in 1291, when the city council of Venice had decided to move glass workshops on the island of Murano to protect the masters’ secrets from the competitors. The main colors included red, white and blue, while green and yellow were rarer. To increase the colors of the beads were used metal as: tin, copper, cobalt, etc. Tin produced creamy white, copper influenced green hues and rare gold produced a rich russet-red. Cobalt would also be used to produce the moody indigo blues – the statement Murano beads color. Most Murano beads are made using the lampworking technique. This method is very time consuming taking in account that each bead must be formed individually. To be continued…


Filed under Crafting, handmade earrings