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How Murano glass beads are made


The lamp-working technique uses a specific torch which burns gas and oxygen and reaches 900°C (1652 F) temperature. 

This temperature makes it possible to melt colored canne di vetro (glass sticks produced in the island of Murano by certified glassworks) that are poured over a copper stick.

The melting of the glass    

Originally it was torches powered by animal fat, and a bellows was used to add oxygen to the flame, making it possible to reach the necessary temperature to melt the glass and process it to obtain beads. The word “a Lume” comes from this archaic solution.

By rotating the copper stick steadily, it's possible to create a glowing sphere, the shape of which can be defined by using steel and brass pliers, or simply by hand.

Glass moulding     Glass moulding

During the previous phase different decorative techniques can be used and combined to create even more detailed beads.

Pastel

Using specific opaque glass rods, different decorations and designs can be drawn on the bead's surface.

Pastel glass bead    

Submerged gold and silver leaves

Gold and silver leaves are placed on a colourless glass core, which in turn will be covered by coloured glass - hence the term "submerged".

Silver leaf glass bead    Silver leaf glass bead

Avventurina

Small copper octahedrons are fused in the bead and eventually molded to create intricate and bright decors on its surface.

Avventurina glass bead    

Pestato

Scrapes of broken glass rods are given new life by fusing them in the bead to decorate its surface. Talc can be used to give the final product an opaque finish.

Pestato glass bead    Pestato glass bead