These are very popular in Venice, and combining both traditional Murano Glass beads for the center piece and Borosilicate Glass, commonly called “boro” for the curved tubes. The tubes are curved working in the flame.
Here are some suggestions for center beads. You will need a bead that is at least 20mm to command the center, or you could add a pendant which is suspended between the two symmetrical tubes. Click here or on the picture for the Free Design page and list of components needed.
Make no mistake, each and every piece is slightly different. Our blowers are the best in the business, but like all artists, they create each piece one by one. In fact, I had to beg to get the blower to make the symmetrical. He said “mi non piassi” – Venetian dialect for I do not LIKE them!
With these necklaces it is best to begin with the center beads and work out. The wire will follow the curvature of the boro tube and will easily come out the hole, but you may need to give it a couple of tries. Larger wire is better because you want to be sure you can secure the necklace.
We use inverted bead caps to fit like a socket into the holes of the tubes which gives it flexibility. Again, each hole will be slightly different, but the inverted beadcap will its seat against the hole, whatever the size or shape of the hole. (The holes are made while the glass is glowing red hot by inserting a metal mandrel into the hot glass, so the holes will never be perfectly round. This is not a defect, just how it’s made.)
Our organic shapes like pebbles and nocce are naturals for the enter pieces and matting the beads is a great contrast. We’d love to see what you do with these exquisite boro tubes.
Boro is a type of glass with silica and boron trioxide as the main glass-forming constituents. Borosilicate glass is known for having very low coefficients of thermal expansion (~3 × 10−6 /°C at 20 °C), making them resistant to thermal shock, more so than any other common glass. Boro was invented by the German Otto Schott, and is similar in composition to the US was patented by Corning under the name of Pyrex, yes like the Pyrex you use in the oven (only it is much thicker than our jewelry beads).
Lampworkers enjoy working with boro as it is more forgiving, easier to work more complicated pieces, like ornate wine glasses or sculptural designs and can be reheated so you have a chance to “re do” any mistakes, something we can not do with Murano Glass.