In the late 13th century, the city of Venice, fearing the outbreak of fire, declared a nearby island as the official sector for its glassblowers; and ever since, the greatest glassworks of Italy have taken that island’s name: Murano.
When you think of Italian art glass, you almost certainly hold in your mind the fine and filigreed forms first produced on this fabled isle: swirling multicolored vases, scintillating chandeliers, the famed “thousand flowers” bouquets of millefiori paperweights… Less well known, but much more accessible―and collectible―is beautiful Venetian beadwork. Using a small table-torch, a technique known as lampwork transforms glass into stunning and sparkling jewels.
First developed amidst the creative bloom of the Renaissance, fiorato (flower) or “wedding cake” beads (as they are known to collectors) are the ultimate example of this art-form . Each bead is exquisitely and delicately handmade; as many as six layers of molten glass are twirled and fused together to combine opaque, iridescent, and metallic materials in an effect that’s entirely reminiscent of cake-icing decoration―and every bit as tasty!
Dating from the 1920s, this necklace and earrings set combines the ancient glassmaking technique of fiorato with Art Deco accents to create a timeless confection that’s both elegant and bold!