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 the Italian canals, Portland, Oregon-based artist Charity Stewart of Momma Mosaics has perfected the time-honored Italian glassmaking technique, with stunning results! Her handcrafted millefiori glass 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.
Momma Mosaics has graciously offered one lucky Susan Said What?! reader a $50 gift certificate, good toward any purchase in the store. 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. Good luck!
UPDATE: Although this giveaway has now ended, there are more ways to win. Simply take a moment to enter our current fashion, style, beauty and accessories giveaways. And, if you liked this Sophisticated Shorts post, don’t forget to visit Women’s Fashion for even more fashion trends and inspiration.
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Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com.