Monday, January 14, 2008

Millefiori Pendant Jewelry

Murano glass jewelry is made from original Murano glass. Murano glass comes from the Murano, the glasswork capital of the world in the 13th Century. Glass working technologies such as crystalline glass, milleflori, enameled glass, multi-colored glass, smoke glass, and milk gas all came from Murano.

The most popular jewelry made from Morano Ventian glass beads are Millefiori pendants. Millefiori, which stands for a thousand flowers, gets its name from several floral designs and geometric shapes, which build up its mosaic design. The mosaic appearance of Millefiori pendants is due to the designs of the glass rods themselves.

The glass rods are made of multiple layers of colored glass fused together making up a uniform design along the cross section of the rod. These designed rods are heated so they become soft enough to stretch, all the while maintaining its cross section design. Stretching the rods makes them easier to cut into the many small tubes, which are responsible for the intricate design of the millefiore. These tubes are then carefully laid out, piece by piece, in a metal ring, which may vary in both size and shape depending on the desired result.

Common shapes of millefiore pendants are sometimes hearts, stars, but more commonly just circles. Once all the tubes or disks are laid out nicely, the pieces are heated in a furnace to fuse. What comes from this is the completed centerpiece of the pendant. The pendant is completed by framing the gem in sterling silver or gold and then strung with a chain.

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