How a Murano Glass Millefiori Pendant is Made
When you think of Murano Glass many people can’t help but think of those beautiful Murano Glass Pendants. Almost everyone I know who goes to Venice comes home with a pendant or two along with tons of other Murano glass items. Besides from being stylish and popular these pendants have a bit of history behind them.
History of the Murano Glass Pendant
Murrine are slender rods or canes of multicolored glass. Slices of Murrine fused together are often called “millefiori” or “thousand flowers”, which derives from the variety of floral patterns and geometric shapes that are present within the glass rod. The use of murrine rods can be found in bowls and vases throughout history from Ancient Rome, Phoenician and Alexandrine times. Murrine is referred to in some of the worlds most respected works, Pliny the Elder describes it in his book of Natural History (Book XXXVII), which lists all of the leading methods of art production at the time. Murrine didn’t resurface until the 16th century when it was rediscovered just a short boat ride away from Venice on the island of Murano.
Creating a Murano Glass Pendant
To create a pendant, a glass rod is covered with layers of different colored glass to create an intricate design, and heated in the furnace so the layers fuse together. The rod is then re-heated and pulled to become very thin but still maintain the perfect cross section of the original design. Once the rod cools off, it is cut into small discs. These tiny sections of various canes or “millefiori” are cut and patiently and artistically placed into metal rings of different shapes and sizes.
These designs can be in the form of a heart, cross or simple circle. These pieces are then reheated again to slightly fuse the canes together to form the pendant. The rough pendant is then ground and polished to make it look like a magnificent glass mosaic.
This creation is only complete once it is framed in a gold or silver setting, transforming it into a treasured jewel. Pictures or photographs of these pendants never seem to do them justice. Viewing these pendants in the sunlight allowing the light to shine through will show off this jewels beauty. Each pendant is created by hand so no two will ever be identical. When you buy a Murano glass pendant, you know you are getting a one-of a kind gem!