More Background

For some additional context about how I came to study millefiori work, I will mention a few significant instances where these beads had an impact on my research.

When I was 16 (1967) and had just begun to work with beads, I pierced my ear. This was considered rather outré at that time. My friends Sandi and Candi gave me a stud to wear in my lobe to keep it open and to form a larger hole than a simple ear wire would make. The stud had a piece of rounded Venetian millefiori cane on it.

I could see the front and the back of this piece of cane, and wondered why the pattern was on both sides. Sandi patiently explained to me that this was a bit of Venetain glass, made from a cane, with an internal structure that allowed the design to pass continuously through the length of the cane. I understood what she was getting at quickly, and marveled at the ingenuity and precision of the work. This was my first piece of Venetian glass.

A few years later (1970) when I moved to San Francisco, and discovered Yoné Beads in North Beach, I found that Yoné had a lot of these little cane pieces, and I bought specimens of all the patterns he had.


The image shown here is that collection. The twenty canes are arranged with layered (eye) patterns in the top row, then molded flower canes, then molded star canes. The stud that Sandi gave me is the third one in the third row.

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