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Friday, 23 November 2012 21:20

Appearance of transparent glass and coloured jewels

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Multicolour jewels thanks to “millefiori"

The first transparent glasses were first made during the reign of Philip II of Macedon, at the Hellenic period. Indeed, around the year 350 BC, Macedonian people had the idea to add manganese dioxide - a black or brown chemical compound - to molten glass which fades the glass.

At the same time, they improved the existing casting techniques. This made them able to create large size crystal objects, such as dishes and decorative objects, as well as multicolour jewels thanks to “millefiori”. This method, meaning “thousand flowers” in Italian, gives a mosaic impression to the objects produced by this way. Indeed, to get a “millefiori’, you have to compose an initial pattern thanks to various glasses of different colours. Then, you have to superpose these layers of glass to form a roll, before lengthening and cutting them in order to get similar patterns with different sizes. By the way, this technique is more specifically used to produce jewellery beads.

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