Friday, October 13, 2017

10.16.17 A Thousand Flowers

Murrine frits (pieces)
Photo credit - TahitiNights on Etsy

The term millefiori means "a thousand flowers" - and describes a particular type of glass made in an ancient tradition.

Millefiori is created using murrine - canes of glass which show intricate patterns when they are cut through.  There is evidence of murrine use as far back as 4,000 years ago - and it has been incorporated into the work of Venetian glassmakers for over 500 years.

The pieces - called frit - can be combined in a number of ways to create either finished pieces (such as paperweights or other decorative glass), cabochons to be used in jewelery, or slabs - which can then be cut by a lapidary artist.

When I made my first Texas Wildflower pendant with a millefiori glass heart, I knew I was on to something...but I had no idea how wildly popular these pendants would be.

I've made several, and they've been flying off the bench - with people claiming them even before they are finished...which is fine with me (because I can't keep everything - and I have to pay for my materials somehow!). Eventually, I do hope to keep one.

However, because they are so popular, I have been going on regular Etsy scavenger hunts trying to find more glass. So far I've been successful - I currently have about a dozen hearts.

As I've said before - I would love to try my hand at glass work - and creating fused millefiori cabochons might be a good place to start.

In the mean time, I'm working with what I can find for sale.  Most recently, I sold three small hearts - all to the same customer - as part of my effort to help with the hurricane Harvey recovery in south Texas.

If you are interested in seeing how millefiori glass is created, take a look at this 5 minute video from "How It's Made".

Until next time.

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