Tag Archives: Sarah Turnbaugh

Millifiore Glass Beads Glass: Gardens of “A Thousand Flowers”

West African peoples have adorned themselves with Venetian millefiori beads, intermixed with locally-made jewelry (left to right): blue-and-white “sand beads” made from powdered glass Vicks and Milk of Magnesia jars (Krobo and southern Ghana groups); reddish-brown bauxite, or aluminum ore, beads (Ghana); cast bronze bracelet (Baule); and cast bronze beads (Ashante).

by Sarah Turnbaugh Millefiori beads made in Venice, Italy, reached lofty technical and aesthetic heights in the late 1800s to early 1900s. The colorful, stunning-looking beads seem almost magical – then we learn that they were handmade using laborious, time-consuming methods in small factories and lone artisans’ homes. Glassworkers aptly called these seductive creations “millefiori,” […]