Popular Kinds of Venetian Glass Beads and common terminology of Murano Glass Beads:
Millefiori Beads : Known as thousand flowers, lace beads or mosaic, these Murano beads have been popular since those early days. The Venetian bead is made by first gathering a small ball of clear or matching color transparent glass, then rolling the ball over small slices of the millefiori cane or carefully placing them on the ball. The bead maker continues rotating and evenly heating the bead until the millefiori slices are completely formed into the bead. Classic Venetian Jewelry has been made from these beads for more than a century. This is probably the best known Venetian Glass Beads.
Aventurina: Aventurina (aventurina, or avventurina) was discovered or actually first produced in Murano by the Miotti family sometime in the 1600's, the creation of which was so prized, The Doge gave an exclusive license to the family to produce aventurina.
Most likely produced in the melting pots of the furnaces by accident, aventurina is simply small suspended particles of copper and other minerals that attach to each other when the glass cools. It is also known as Stellaria. It gives many of our beads their bright sparkle, and works great with silver, gold, or copper-toned findings.
Sommerso Beads: Sommerso means submerged and is a description of how this bead is made, small flecks of color, often aventurina (aventurina is the Veneziana spelling, while avventurina is the Italian spelling) are suspended inside transparent glass. It is a simple Venetian bead, usually less expensive but very popular. Venetian Glass Jewelry using these sommerso beads is popular even today. These were the beginning of the popularity of the Venetian Glass Beads.
Fiorato Beads : Decorated with flowers, as fiore means flower in Italian, this word means small flowers. The bead can be made in any technique, gold foil, silver foil, sommerso, however on the outside there will be a small flower which is drawn using molten stringers of colored glass. Often there are also decorations on the exterior of aventurina piping. Venetian Fiorato beads require more skill than sommerso for making. Your Murano Glass Jewelry creations with fiorato beads will be a stunning addition to your wardrobe. These Venetian Glass Beads are known around the world.
Gold Foil, White Gold and Silver Foil: Murano Beads made by first making a small ball of the glass and then rolling the molten glass ball across thin sheets of 24kt gold foil, 24kt white gold foil or .925 sterling silver. The bead with this foil exterior is then completed by gently melting on top of the foil transparent colors of Moretti Murano glass. The 24kt gold foil under the colors gives it a rich glow, enhancing the color, while the 24kt white gold foil gives the bead a softer shade of color, refined and warm. Using .925 sterling silver, the true color of the glass is brightened and becomes crisp. The white gold is an alloy with 18kt gold foil and white colored metals, the same as in fine jewelry. Venetian Glass Jewelry is not complete without these standards.
Blown Beads: The blown beads are the only beads made in a real Murano glass furnace or in small laboratories using "glory holes". They are made using a technique called filigrana the glass blower first takes a blowpipe and rolls over canes of colored glass giving the striping in each bead. They may be finished in spirals, or straight striping, and may be balls, or teardrop shape or our very popular pennies which are balls which have been flattened. The Venetian Blown beads may also be made in lampwork technique, or perle a lume (in Italian). In the case where they are made in lampwork, they begin with a larger cane of the Moretti glass which they melt into a soft ball on the end of a small blow pipe. Our blown Venetian Glass Hearts are made in this fashion, while our other Blown Beads are made in the filigrana technique. Your authentic Murano Glass Jewelry made with these beads will follow traditions established long ago.
Dichroic Beads : Our Venetian Dichroic beads take a long journey to reach you. The glass begins as sheets in the Moretti factory in Murano. These sheets of glass are exported to Los Angeles, California where high tech equipment applies the coatings under vacuum. A final trip back to Murano and our beadmakers incorporate tiny chips of the dichroic into the traditional Venetian beads producing a marvelous mixture of old world style and modern technology. The dichroic beads are individual - no two ever alike and held in the sunlight will appear different as a result of the coatings. They are spectacular and unique. VenetianBeadShop.com introduced these Venetian Dichroic Beads working with their beadmakers in Murano. VenetianBeadShop made this modern Murano Glass Jewelry popular and gives you a lot of bling.
Lampwork Beads: The term Lampwork is derived from the Venetian tradition which is known as "a lume" which means at the lamp. Americans tend to think they invented it, however they have borrowed ideas, the very canes and built on centuries of the artist and craftsmen of Venice. Many people do not think of Venetian Beads as Lampwork Beads , however, lampwork simply means that the beads have been worked over a flame. This has the same technique for thousands of years, only the energy source has changed. All beads made in Venice and Murano are lampwork beads. Venetian beads have been associated largely with the production styles which have been sold for the past thirty to forty years. However, in researching the history of beads, you will find that for centuries, the Muranese and Venetians have been making beads with the dots now associated with lampwork. Visit our Lampwork beads section and see some Venetian Lampwork Beads make in the style of the American artists. In fact all of these beads come under the heading of Wound beads, since taking the molten cane in hand, the canes are wrapped around the mandrel. Venetian Glass Jewelry made with our lampwork beads are ever popular.
Furnace Glass also known as Cane Glass: Since most beads are made from the Moretti (and now a new company just outside Venice called VetroFondo) our Furnace Glass Beads are different in that they are made by real glass blowers in real Murano Glass Furnaces. The glass is different from the softer Moretti glass, even though the composition is still soda. The glass used in this furnace is more like pyrex in that the glassblowers can blow these to very thin walls and that each bead is annealed in the oven overnight insuring that all stresses are relieved. This makes for a very strong bead. We use the zanfirico method for many of the beads. All the canes used in these beads are made on the premises of this furnace. Our Murano Glass Jewelry produced with furnace glass gives you great splash of color.
Vicenza: Our Vicenza line uses patches of 24kt gold foil along with .925 sterling silver foil. Vicenza brings to mind the opulent piles of silver and gold exhibited at the Vicenza O'ro shows gleeming and enticing. We use a base of either transparent colors of Murano Glass or opaque to create the background to display the bright bling of our gold and silver.
Luna: Luna beads incorporate a base of one of our transparent colors and then has small pieces of gold and silver and little particles of avventurina. All of this is finally covered in crystal clear Murano glass. This gives you plenty of sparkle and splash along with the bright colors.
KLIMT: Klimt beads are inspired by the Austrian symbolist painter, a member of the art nouveau movement and particularly by his Golden Phase" where many of his paintings utilized gold leaf. Klimt traveled to Venice where the gold mosaics were said to have influenced these works. We use the bright colors and gold leaf or silver leaf in all KLIMT beads.
Sole: Our Sole Beads feature transparent undercolors of Murano glass encasing 24kt gold foil with bits of the 24kt gold foil peeping through the bright colors, like sunshine through the clouds. The 24kt gold foil exposed will wear over time and exposure to lotions & oils. This wearing and coloring is part of the beauty of these beads. They will brighten your day!
Perlavita is the trademark name of our line of large hole beads and jewelry. Designed by us in partnership with our Italian family of beadmakers, we use traditional Venetian beads with larger holes with either Vermeil (24kt gold plate over sterling silver or .925 sterling silver). They fit such popular bracelets as Pandora, Chamilia, Love Links, Troll, Tedora and many omega chains with a hole size of a little more than 5mm. Enjoy our Venetian Beads in this easy to make Venetian Jewelry.
Whatever the style of the bead or the technique used in making it, Venetian beads are popular and valued in jewelry. It's the mystic of that beautiful island, it's strong people and the sense of style we have all come to know as Venetian Beads or Murano Beads.
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