Venetian Glass Beads
Tesoro means treasure in Italian and that's what I aim to bring you.
Tesoro Jewellery is all hand made using Venetian glass beads, known as "Perle di Venezia". All Tesoro beads are hand made by small family firms in Venice and Murano, in much the same way they have been made for 800 years.
Making the beads is an intricate process, illustrated here. Clear glass rod is first melted in a gas flame and wrapped around a fine copper tube, then rolled on a steel plate and shaped with moulds like pliers to form the basic bead shape. Before the glass hardens it is touched onto a small piece of gold or silver leaf and rolled to wrap the leaf around the glass core. Another layer of clear or more often coloured molten glass is then wrapped around this core from another glass rod. The bead is again shaped as desired then left to cool and then the copper tube is dissolved away in an acid bath. Steel rods are also used, being coated with a releasing agent so they can be pulled from the bead when cold. More elaborate beads can use up to six layers of glass and metal. Not surprisingly, it takes several years to become accomplished at making beads! This intricate process means that no two Venetian beads are exactly alike, each one uniquely handmade.
Murano glass is world renowned for its lightness and clarity, which give the beads their outstanding lustre and makes them very comfortable to wear.
A good part of the wealth and power of Venice, in the days when it was one of the most powerful city states in Europe, was founded on its craftsmen's secret knowledge, including the making of glass. Originally the glass was made in Venice itself, but in about 1285 the glass factories were forced by the city to move to the nearby island of Murano because of the smoke and the fire hazard caused by the glass making. There are a number of factories and workshops on this small island where one can see the glass being blown and shaped by hand in the traditional way, often by skilled craftsmen working in pairs. There are also a number of highly skilled sculptors in glass, making pieces of glass art, from glass bowls and ornaments to sculptures and enormous and elaborate chandeliers.
Jewellery and the making of glass beads, the famous "Perle di Venezia" (Venetian Pearls) is mainly done by the smaller workshops, often still family run. Our beads are made in Venice and Murano and as with almost all Venetian and Muranese glasswork, the glass itself comes from one factory.
Tesoro Venetian Jewellery - Murano Glass Jewellery - Unique Jewellery - Handcrafted Jewellery - Bespoke Jewellery
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