Sometimes making Murano beads is like one of those games you play where you try to see the differences between two cartoons. Or “one of these things is not like the other”. We were working on a slightly different version of one of our zanfirico* beads to make it a little more production friendly. Two days of working with our bead makers to make one style of beads and I was still trying to explain that it just doesn’t feel right. That while all the components, zanfirico, 24kt Gold Foil, Base color were all there, it just wasn’t what I was trying to achieve. Not that the beads weren’t beautiful – just not what I had in mind. But sometimes the vision they have of a bead (well actually often) turns out better than my own vision. Watch our video as we work to make this bead.
Making one bead, is one thing, making the hundreds and thousands we need for our VenetianBeadShop customers around the world and keeping them essentially the same – well that’s a more difficult task. The variables are so many: the canes we buy from Effetre (known in the industry as Moretti)** who makes the canes as they have been for – did something change in their batch? like carpet or fabric, each batch has a specific color and varies from batch to batch, the heat and how the torch is working on any given day, add in the different beadmakers, and their humor. Any small change in this loose chain will result in a different bead.
Sometimes I envy Swarovski® who makes everything by machine and I am sure precision in their recipe for glass colors that equals rocket science!
But then they don’t get to share any creative ideas! Venetian Beads will never be exactly the same – it’s not a science, it’s an art! And our beadmakers the artists!
*Zanfirico and Reticello are high quality products, belonging to the filigree family and they a difficult manufacturing tasks. Zanfirico consists of lines of opaque glass turned together while pulling the rods creating a spiral then wrapped in a clear cover, while Reticello is so named for the characteristic mesh texture that can be observed inside.
**The processing techniques used by EFFETRE MURANO SRL go back to the XIX century, when Vincenzo Moretti rediscovered the difficult method of the murrine from the Romanesque ages, and created a multitude of coloured glasses and enamels, that’s why Effetre products are known also as Moretti.