Murano Glass Beads
“Gli Ori di Venezia” presents its production of Murano glass beads by dividing it according to shapes, colours and kinds of working. Glass beads may be full or hollow.
The history of glass bead making may go back a thousand years or more, but it became a major industry starting from the twelfth century, in Murano, following suggestions from Marco Polo, who had taken some specimens from the East. In this small Venetian island, there was developed the production of “conterie” (a word that comes from computus, counting), that is glass beads used for decoration and adornment.
The great variety of achievable forms allows us to place no limit on inventiveness during the creation of a necklace, bracelets and earrings. Immeasurable variety of shapes and sizes, limitless potential for colour variation, and return to the most valuable and ancient working techniques.
From the point of view of colour, the company offers gold leaf and silver leaf, pastel and opaline, alabaster, trasparent and matt colours with gold leaf and silver leaf variants.
Designs, on the other hand, grow out of an immense variety of geometries and working techniques, from “sommerso” to “fiorato”, from “leopard-spotted” to “zebra-striped”, from “mosaic” to “filigree”.
The workmanship of beads
According to working technique, they can be divided in three basic categories: “conteria”, “rosetta” or rosette, and “perle a lume”.
“Conteria” and “rosetta” are cane beads, that is made from sticks of glass previously prepared.
“Perle a lume”, on the other hand, are made one by one by twisting glass softened on a small burner (“lume”, light; hence “perle a lume”, beads on light) around a little iron ball made for the purpose, and then working them into a practically infinite amount of designs, which can be enriched by other materials such as gold, enamel or “avventurina” quartz.
This work “a lume” on the burner is the way in which “Gli ori di Venezia” produce our glass jewels.
These are the newest kind of Venetian bead, having been produced since 1600.
According to the techniques they can be classified in groups: “perla società“, “millefiori“, “sommerso“, “fiorato“. But the amount of models that can be produced by contemporary use of several techniques is virtually infinite.
“Perla società” is a bead of a single colour, whose shape can go from spherical to oval to any that fantasy can suggest.
“Gli ori di Venezia” have made themselves the interpreters of this thousand-year tradition, revisiting the whole range of creations that this technique can achieve.
“Perla mosaico” (mosaic bead), otherwise known as “millefiori“: it is made by covering the slight layer of soft glass around the iron core with several sections of multi-coloured Murrina glass, compacting it by simple tools, and polishing according to an established program.
“Sommerso” (“submerged”): over a small core of single-colour glass are placed grains of coloured glass that are then covered with a layer of transparent glass. If gold leaf or silver leaf is used in place of glass grains you have “sommerso oro” or “sommerso argento”.
“Fiorato“: a thin flat slice of Avventurina quartz is attached to the starting little ball, while at its ends threads of Avventurina are worked into decorative patterns (“vette” or summits). The operation is completed with little coloured dots that represent little flowers.