Long ago, in our early 20’s, my husband and I backpacked around Europe and visited Venice. I wasn’t working with beads then and was completely unaware of Venice’s long tradition of exquisite glass making. Now, I wish I could return to Venice, please. I’d visit all the old glass blowing shops and go out to the island of Murano, to which the members of the ancient glass blowing guild retreated to guard their glass trade secrets.
Here is a slide show with info and pictures about the Venetian glass tradition. Murano Glass Ancient Tradition It is produced by a Venetian glass company and obviously they hope you will make a purchase, but the slide show and YouTube clip on this site are fascinating and show how the glass is made.
I recently purchased some contemporary Venetian glass beads from DaviniaDesigns. This artist went to Italy to study traditional glass making. She met her husband there and now calls Venice her home. She has her glass studio right in the heart of Venice. I bought four pairs of beads from her. Today I’d like to share the first set of earrings I’ve made from her gorgeous beads.
I paired the Venetian glass with Swarovksi crystals and sterling silver. I totally fell for the ridges on these beads. I just think they add so much texture and interest. The perfectly parallel ridges contrast so nicely with the more organically placed swirls. Thinking of those lovely swirls made me decide to call this design “Venetian Swirl“.