Millefiori is an ancient technique for creating unique, multicolored glass works invented and developed in the Italian peninsula.
The first millefiori jewels and decorative items were created during Roman times. The technique was later taken by the Venetians who perfected it and, thanks to their massive commercial connections, brought it to all corners of the world.
They were the ones who supplied the royal families and wealthy nobles in the Russian, Austrian and Ottoman Empires, France and Britain with the fines Italian jewelries and works of art, including millefiori glass beads.
The word ‘Millefiori’ means ‘thousands of flowers’ and the technique consists in putting together many thin cane of colored glass and melting them together. The artists put them in such a way to create interesting models that range from flowers and stars to written names and more.
The millefiori glass beads can be found now in stores all over the world at incredibly affordable prices. I came across many stores the sold these jewels and when I first saw the prices, I could swear they were fakes. But no, they really are made for the average pocket.
These days, the millefiori tradition is carried on by Antica Murrina Veneziana which made is renowned worldwide. For a number of decades, the technique was forgotten, but Antica Murrina brought it back to life and now millefiori jewels are available in a fast growing array of items. From millefiori earrings and watches to rings and vases, you’re bound for find something for your taste.
With each glass bead being made by hand by a talented craftsman, it’s certain that there are no two identical pieces. With the artist adding his personality to each of the jewels he makes, you’re essentially wearing a unique piece of art that everybody can appreciate.
Click here to see some of the many millefiori glass works that you can choose as jewels or decorative object in the house.