Millefiori. Just speaking the word conjures up images of master glass craftsman, singing gondoliers and all the breathtaking beauty of Venice!
Although she is far from Venice, Portland, Oregon-based artist Charity Stewart of Momma Mosaics has perfected the time-honored Italian glassmaking technique, with stunning results! Her handcrafted glass art jewelry is created using both millefiori and eco-friendly salvaged glass, or recycled stained glass remnants from larger mosaic artworks.
To get some perspective on the intricacy of the process, this ancient Roman glass crafting technique involves the painstaking production of glass rods (known as murrine) with multicolored patterns. The patterns can only be seen when viewed from the cut ends of the rod. This rod is heated in a furnace, pulled thin, and cut into discs which are applied individually and set by hand in bezels.
Each piece of glass is also hand-sanded and polished, resulting in a finish that is smooth to touch (yet still allows the texture to come through). Today, the process also involves painting pieces with a UV light-cured resin for durability and shine. The result is dazzling!
I’ve long been a fan of millefiori glass. In fact, the first earrings I ever owned were a pair of tiny, individual millefiori glass “dots.” Today, I opt for jewelry that’s a little more impactful, and Momma Mosaics is a veritable treasure trove of choices – from earrings, to rings, to pendants and more.
Some of my favorites include “The Blues” earrings which have a beach-y feel. According to Momma Mosaics, these earrings are one the firm’s top sellers — and it’s easy to see why. The earrings are made with genuine Murano millefiori glass in various cool shades of blue. They measure 18mm (approximately 3/4″) and are set in either a round or square sterling silver dipped bezel. Retail $40.
I also love the kicky colors of the “Happy Rectangle” necklace. Handmade with Murano millefiori glass, the pendant measures 3/4″ x 1 1/4″ and is dipped in .925 sterling silver. The textured cable chain is particularly hip and I especially appreciate the easy-to-use toggle clasp. Retail $70.
Finally, I adore the “Tangerine Stained Glass” earrings, which are a bit different than the more traditional Murano millefiori glass. These were crafted with stained glass using a modern edge-stacking technique. The trendy tangerine glass is hand cut and sanded for a smooth finish. The square earrings measure 18mm (approximately 3/4″) and have a sterling silver antique finish. A matching square necklace and rings are also available! Retail $40.
It’s simple to enter using our Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is available for readers 18+ in the USA only. Odds are determined by the number of entries received. Contest ends 7-8-2012. Good luck!
While you’re here, please don’t forget to enter our other CURRENT GIVEAWAYS:
- Your Choice of Dana Renee Style earrings. A hundred styles to choose from! Ends 6-21
- Four gorgeous pieces of POMP Jewelry, designed by actress Sharon Case of the Young and the Restless. Ends 6-30.
- 3 lucky winners will receive a 3-piece bath and body pack from Scent-Sations. Ends 6-30.
Susan Conforte McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!, Success Won’t Wait! and The Best Christmas Ever!