Vintage Flower Designs - Millefiore Jewelry
inJanuary 8, 2013 - 4:50pm
I am a lover of all things flowered. I have many garden beds around my home and I spend much of the year tending them. It stands to reason that I would also love all types of flowered jewelry. I have written before about normal flowered styles in jewelry. Many of the well known vintage jewelry designers incorporated flowers into their designs and they are very popular. Throughout the year, flower jewelry sells very well on Ruby Lane. But there is a very special type of flower jewelry, which is especially collectible to vintage jewelry lovers - Millefiori jewelry.
Millefiori is a glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware. The term comes from a combination of two Italian words - ":Mille" which means thousand and "fiori" which means flowers. When viewing a piece of genuine Millefiori jewelry, it is easy to see why it is so named. Millefiori jewelry designs can be traced back to as early as the 8th century. Much of the knowledge of creating Millefiori designs was lost until the 18th century, and the practice was not really revived until the 19th century. Once rediscovered, there were factories in Italy, France and the UK that specialized in manufacturing of the Millefiori canes, which are used in the designs.
The technique of creating Millefiori designs involves the production of glass canes, or rods, which are known as murrine. These rods have multi colored patterns which can only be seen from the cut ends of the canes. The rods are heated in a furnace and then pulled thin. During this process, the cross section design must be maintained. After this is done the rods are cut into beads or discs when they are cool. These discs are used in the designs to get the flowered colorful effect. Today's Millefiori glass deigns are made with soft glass and Boro glass which come in endless designs. Very recently, the Millefiori technique has been used by designers who specialize in Polymer Clay and other similar materials. Unlike glass canes, which needed to be heated and reheated to fuse them, polymer clay is very pliable and doesn't need heating, so it is a much easier medium to produce Millefiori like patterns. I have included examples of Millefiori glass designs. You can easily see why the technique is translated to the words "a thousand flowers."
Carol Speake My Ruby Lane Store: The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry