I talked to my dad last night and he suggested an exercise for loosening up with drawing: draw a dot on a sheet of paper and then visualize a picture… let your mind’s eye compose what goes on the page… well he said it better, and I am going to give it a try this weekend. I will post anything that is interesting… thanks Dad!

Jamey D. Allen provides a highly technical article on bead manufacturing in “Manufacture of Intricate Glass Canes and a New Perspective on the Relationship between Chevron-Star Beads and Mosaic-Millefiori Beads,” Proceedings of the 1982 Glass Trade Bead Conference, edited by Charles F. Hays, III (Rochester, NY: Rochester Museum of Science Center, 1983) Allen defines millefiori and describes the use of floral canes, which are used to cover or compose a mosaic glass item. He contrasts the modern millefiore beads with ancient ones and describes the three attributes that a millefiori must have. He also clearly defines the differences between millefiore and mosaic motifs with diagrams of variations for different molds.

Some books on millefiore

January 8, 2015


Design of millefiori by Meredith Eliassen.

Glassmaker John Burton discusses modern techniques for producing glass in Glass Philosophy and Method (New York: Bonanza Books, 1967) Burton chronicles the history and development of certain techniques and illustrates with photographs how to make millefiori glass.

Axel von Saldren concentrates on the early manufacturing of glass in Ancient Glass in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1968). He theorizes that glass originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia as vessels and traces the migration of the glassmaking industry. The millefiori motif is traces to Mesopotamia in the 15th century BCE, to the early Roman Empire when monochrome elements were used, and then to Venice. Glass beads are discussed but not in connection to the millefiori motif. Photographs illustrate many examples of millefiori in Museum collection pieces.

Donald M. Harden provides an excellent overview of early glass in “Ancient Glass, Part 1: Pre-Roman,” Archeological Journal 125 (1969): 46-72. For the person interested in a detailed history of early glass, this is probably the most comprehensive paper published on this complicated early period.

Paul N. Perrot, Paul V. Gardiner, and James S Plant profile the work of Frederick Carder (1863-1963), founder of Steuben Glass works that later became a division of Corning Glass Works in Steuben: Seventy Years of American Glassmaking (New York: Preager Publishers, 1974). In Carder’s early designs, he developed the modern variation on the millefiori motif for glass manufacturing, the creating an American variation on the Venetian millefiori motif.

Sidney M. Goldstein traces the millefiori design motif to the earliest periods of glassmaking in Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 1979). Such sites as Tel-A Rimas, ‘Aqar Quf, and Marlik in Western Asia are discussed. Goldstein expounds on various glass making techniques. The catalog shows the vast Corning Collection containing examples of millefiori dishes, petalla cups and fragments of Roman glass revetments and mosaic glass inlay but non of the beads are millefiori.