|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.
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.
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.