• What are millefiori or murrini?

    What are millefiori or murrini?

    Millefiori (Italian for "a thousand flowers") and murrini are decorative glass objects that are used in the production of Venetian glass. They are made by layering different colors of hot glass rods, which are then stretched, cut, and formed into intricate patterns. The resulting cross-sections of these glass rods reveal a mosaic of intricate designs that resemble flowers, hence the name "millefiori".

    These decorative elements are often used in the creation of glass beads, paperweights, and other decorative glass objects. The process of creating millefiori and murrini is a complex and skilled technique that requires a high degree of craftsmanship and expertise. As a result, these objects are highly prized and collected by glass enthusiasts, who appreciate their beauty, complexity, and the level of skill required to produce them.

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  • Venetian Glass

    Venetian Glass

    Venetian glass is a type of glassware that is renowned for its exceptional beauty, quality, and intricate designs. It is made on the island of Murano, located in the Venetian Lagoon near Venice, Italy. The history of Venetian glass-making dates back to the 8th century, and over time, the glass-makers of Murano have developed a range of sophisticated techniques for creating stunning works of art.

    Venetian glass is known for its clarity, brightness, and ability to refract light in a way that produces vibrant, shimmering colors. The glass-makers of Murano use a variety of techniques to achieve these effects, including the use of multiple layers of colored glass, the application of gold and silver leaf, and the creation of intricate designs using a combination of hot and cold working methods.

    The most famous type of Venetian glass is probably the millefiori style, which features tiny, intricately woven canes of colored glass that are cut and arranged to form patterns. Other popular styles of Venetian glass include latticino, filigree, and reticello.

    Venetian glass remains highly sought after today and is considered a true work of art. Many contemporary glass-makers still produce beautiful pieces in the traditional Venetian style, and many museums and collectors hold extensive collections of antique Venetian glass.

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  • Lampwork Glass: An Art Form That Captivates the World

    Lampwork Glass: An Art Form That Captivates the World

    Lampwork glass is an art form that has been captivating artists and art lovers for centuries. It is a glass working technique that involves using a torch to heat and shape the glass into intricate and beautiful designs, sometimes blown into a shape, sometimes wound around a metal rod, and sometimes formed using graphite and/or brass shaping tools.  The patterns created by the artist often require elements to be made prior to starting to make a bead, such as thin stringers of colour, twisties or murinni/millefiori.  At times, premade decorative elements such as noodles (also known as ribbons or strips) and dichroic glass may also be used.  Lampwork glass is used to create a wide range of items, including beads, figurines, jewellery, and other decorative objects. With its unique beauty and versatility, it is no wonder that lampwork glass has become a popular and sought-after art form.

    The History of Lampwork Glass

    The art of working with glass has its roots in ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians and Romans, who used flame, although nothing like the equipment used today, to create glass beads and other decorative objects. However, it wasn't until the 16th century that the art form became more widespread.  In the centuries that followed, lampwork glass became increasingly popular, with artisans and glassblowers perfecting their techniques and creating more intricate and beautiful pieces.

    Today, lampwork glass continues to be a popular art form, with artists and art lovers alike appreciating its beauty and versatility. Many artists specialise in creating unique and custom pieces, using a variety of techniques and styles to create one-of-a-kind works of art.

    The Art of Lampwork Glass

    Lampwork glass is created using a torch to heat and shape the glass. The artist begins by melting a rod of glass over the flame, which they then shape and mould into the desired design. They can add different colours and textures to the glass by adding different types of glass rods and frit (crushed glass) to the main piece. Once the piece has been shaped and moulded, the artist then anneals it, which is a process of slowly cooling the glass to prevent it from cracking.

    One of the unique aspects of lampwork glass is that every piece is unique and cannot be replicated exactly. This is because the artist, although having almost full control over the shape, size, and colour of the piece, the heat of the torch can cause the glass to react differently every time. This makes each piece a truly unique work of art.

    The Benefits of Lampwork Glass

    Lampwork glass is not only beautiful, but it is also durable and long-lasting. Because it is annealed, it is much less likely to crack or break than other types of glass. Additionally, lampwork glass is versatile, and can be used in a wide range of applications, including jewellery-making, home decor, and even in the creation of scientific instruments.

    Lampwork glass is a truly captivating art form, with its unique beauty and versatility that has been attracting artists and art lovers for centuries. Whether you are an artist or simply someone who appreciates beautiful and unique works of art, lampwork glass is definitely worth exploring. With its rich history, intricate designs, and versatility, it is a truly remarkable and fascinating art form that continues to captivate people from all over the world.


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  • The Art of Handmade Glass Beads in Designer Jewellery

    The Art of Handmade Glass Beads in Designer Jewellery

    Designer jewellery has always been an epitome of style and elegance, with every piece telling a unique story.  From intricate designs to the use of premium materials, designer jewellery has always been the first choice of those who want to make a fashion statement.  One material that has been gaining popularity in recent years is glass - flameworked or lampworked, and fused.  

    • Flameworked or lampworked glass, is formed using an open flame (usually oxy-propane) to melt glass and to wind the molten glass onto a mandrel to create beautiful and unique handmade glass beads. Often this requires the artist to make a variety of components to be used in the design before forming the base bead, applying the patterns and finally encasing the bead, without distorting the patterns, should this be required. 
    • Fused glass is a process where glass is heated and melted in a kiln to form a single piece, used to create pendants or cabachons for example. This fusing process is also sometimes used to create complex patterns which are later cut into thin slivers and applied to a base bead in the flame

    In this blog post, we will explore the world of handmade glass beads and how they are being used to create stunning pieces of designer jewellery.

    Designer jewellery has come a long way since its inception, and today, it is not just limited to precious metals and gemstones. Glass is one of the latest materials to make its way into the world of designer jewellery, and it's easy to see why. With the ability to create an array of colours and designs, glass beads have become a popular choice for those looking to add a unique touch to their jewellery collection.

    The processes of heating and melting glass, either in the flame or in a kiln, to create a single piece, allows for the creation of unique designs and patterns that can be used to create beautiful and one-of-a-kind beads. The end result is a piece (pendant or bead) that is both strong and durable when correctly kiln annealed, making it the perfect material for jewellery.

    Handmade glass jewellery components are created by skilled artisans who take great care in ensuring each item is perfect. The process of working with glass on a miniature scale is a complex one, with each step requiring a high level of precision and attention to detail.  From the selection of glass colours to the final polishing, every step is carefully executed to ensure the bead is of the highest quality.  There are reactions that can occur between the oxides used to create that colours of glass that, uncontrolled, can ‘make or break’ a design, so there is also a degree of science involved in understanding the chemistry of glass.

    In designer jewellery, handmade glass elements are used in a variety of ways. They can be strung together to create beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.  They can also be incorporated into other jewellery designs, such as pendants and brooches.  The possibilities are endless, and the result is always a stunning piece of jewellery.

    In conclusion, handmade glass beads have become an essential part of the world of designer jewellery.  With their unique designs and the ability to create an array of colours, they are a must-have for anyone looking to add a touch of elegance to their jewellery collection.  Whether you are looking for a simple and understated piece or a bold and daring statement, handmade glass beads are the perfect choice.  So why wait?  Start exploring the world of designer jewellery today and find your perfect piece.


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