Millefiori Beads or Mosaic Beads were used in Phoenician times, Roman times, and Alexandrian times.
The patterns are created using moulds that are made from canes. Millefiori Glass have a plain exterior look, however, its interior look has versatile patterns including floral, star, heart and geometric patterns. The technique of making Millefiori Glass and the production process have not changed, and every bead is completely handmade by artisans. This makes each Millefiori Glass so much artistic value and unique. The creations have extraordinary designs and rich colors.
(Millefiori Canes and Rods)
Shapes and Looks of Millefiori Glass
Millefiori Glass is made by glass canes or rods (Murrine Cane). The origin of the canes is from Italy, despite their plain exterior look, however, its interior look has versatile patterns including floral, star, heart and geometric patterns.
The making of Millefiori Glass Beads
Before artisans opened up their own shops, they had to go through many years making Millefiori Glass as apprentices. The reason is that making Millefiori Glass requires a high level of skill and patience as they are all handmade.
Before creating Millefiori Beads, artisans need to make a small, rough glass globe mixture called globule. On the end of a steel pole where the globule is placed, it is dipped into a glass mixture made from different colors. After each dipping, a multi-colors layered sphere is formed that grows in size. This sphere is then placed in a special mould made from Millefiori glass canes(Murrine Canes) to give the Millefiori product the necessary shape. Millefiori glass canes or rods have a plain exterior look, however, the interior is with astonishing floral patterns. Star and geometric shapes are also typical patterns in these canes or rods.
After that, the multi-colors layered sphere is dipped into a transparent glass mixture that gives a shiny and round outer surface, the special mould gives it a glass-like surface finish. When the glass melts, the sphere attached to the end of the long steel pole is gently made into a rod creating the desired thickness. The rod is then cut up into the desired size that results in Millefiori Beads. When the beads are still in semi-liquid state, they are placed into furnace to create a smoother surface and to reach other desired effects. Next, the product is put in a special furnace with the temperature set and the heating is done to strengthen the glass. Millefiori Beads are usually in rich coloring and longer than the traditional beads.