Making Millefiori Beads

Typical Variations of Canes

No Two Alike
When we say “No two ever exactly alike”, here’s why.

This is a typical selection of assorted slices of Millefiori. While it is possible to buy only one type of cane, most of our Millefiori beads have a random selection of these.

Our beadmakers buy presliced canes (for the most part) from Effetre, the factory in Murano which produces the COE104 Glass Canes used to produce our beads.

In the picture below you see the classic Millefiori Pendant which is made by placing a single layer of these slices in a form where they are fused. After fusing, they are polished and inset into Silver or Vermeil Bails. This is a very popular item found all over Venice, and on our website as well. 

Scene inside the Effetre Factory Murano ItalySOLD BY THE KILO:
To make the bags of slices, they take canes in stock and chop them into the little slices. So you may have 100+ pounds of slices.  They are chopped and dumped into wheelbarrows and measured our in bags by the kilo. So when our bead makers go they just buy a in small quantities the millefiori slices. Lampworkers use the slices of Millefiori for the eyes in their animals.

On the right is a scene from inside the Effetre Factory Warehouse. This warehouse is closed to the public, to the trade and to almost everyone. Sometimes we get to sneak in with a bead maker.
Sorted Millefiori for use in Fusing

The vases on the left came from a single cane and we used these in fusing or making many of the “Lace” beads where each one has the same slices.

To make some of our cross pendants, we have to wait for the millefiori to be available in all the sizes we need as we use graduated sizes of the same “Margherita” cane.

Depending on when you buy the bags, it has slices from the canes they have in stock. There is no set recipe of 2 of this, or 4 of that. It is just what canes are in stock and depends on the whim of the worker slicing the beads. It also depends on the schedule of production of canes, so some may be made only once a year. Or certainly not until they have sold all in stock and have orders for the 250-300 Chili that are produced in a run.

One of our most popular collections of Murano Glass Beads doesn’t use the whole pieces, this design is made from the fragments. Imagine how happy Effetre is that even the broken bits of glass can be sold.

So as you can see, we can never tell you which ones will be in a bead or batch. It’s part of the fun!

To watch our beadmaker use the canes in making our beads, view our youtube video

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