I recently acquired some new strands of Chinese marble beads (already sold out). Although new, they are beautiful and comforting. The glass marbles remind me of my childhood--guess I played with marbles a lot. They were really wearable strands and I imagine would look stunning with jeans and probably attract a lot of comments.
Anyways looking at the Chinese marble beads, brings me to Chinese Millefiori beads which I have in stock and a number of people have undertaken some wonderful jewellery projects.
These are very delicate beads and I often wondered how the design was applied as I am sure many of you would be wondering as well. It looks very tedious and time consuming and as though it is applied with a brush, the strokes are so delicate. This delicate application seems to be characteristic of Chinese/Japanese beads. Do they use the brush to apply some kind of pigment that is glazed over?
This prompted me to do some research on millefiori lampwork beads.
asymmetrical starburst patterns on Chinese millefiori beads are achieved by
using partly transparent murrine cane slices that are made by rolling up a sheet
of transparent glass with stripes in it, and then cutting off fine slices. These
slices are then applied onto wound bead cores.
Japanese Millefiori beads are often decorated with fragments of small millefiori canes, rather than with whole slices.
modern Japanese beadmakers have made some true
millefiori beads, the beads you show are better thought of as
In true millefiori, the cane segments are placed with their cross-sections uppermost (barring any unintended accident—as easily happens in many specimens). In the case of this class of bead, the makers have created very simple striped canes, divided them, and then tumbled them to become spheroid. (They look just like tiny beach-balls, that we used to play with when I was a kid.) As such, being spheroidal, the elements are randomly scattered over the surface of the bead, so that they are dispersed in every conceivable orientation.
In other words, there is no effort to use the cross section of the cane elements, and these elements themselves are more simple than the vast majority of simple-pattern canes made for millefiori work.
Here are some pictures from our collection
right here at Melworks Beads and Craft.
Emerald Millefiori Beads
Turquoise Millefiori Stone Chips beads
Golden Millefiori Disc Beads
Heart Shape Millefiori Beads
Oval Millefiori Pendant
By S Rashid for Melworks Beads and