|Glass strips rather than rods, and the Japanese connection|
|Re: An observation on contemporary "Boshan" style millefiori beads -- beadiste||Post Reply||Edit||Forum||Where am I?|
Pouring flat strips of glass to use in lampworking is a Japanese technique. The Satake glass used by contemporary Japanese lampworkers is produced in flat strips.
Jamey's 2004 presentation speculated how the starburst canes were constructed by laying the thin decorative strips at right angles to a larger flat strip, rolling the whole thing up like a jelly roll, and then drawing out the resulting stubby cylinder of glass into a long rod, subsequently cut into murrine.
The Japanese how-to book Tonbo-dama by Kogure Norikazu has a chapter on making cherry blossom murrine that very closely resemble the little blossoms on old beads that I recollect are in Billy's collection, as well as the murrine in the old pre-WWII Boshan beads as shown in the 2013 Ornament article. A stubby cylinder of glass is patterned, then pulled.
The observations by Sprague, Atkins, and Hector that a popular use for glass beads in China was to make bead curtains and screens, and that plastic beads were taking over this market, might explain why the Boshan bead factory decided not to continue producing old-fashioned lampwork beads once the pre-WWII supply of Japanese-style pulled starburst rods ran out.