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As early as the 1st century in Egypt, we see examples of mosaic blocks with designs that run through the length of the loaf. Refining this technique, artisans in 19th century Venice learned to fuse rods of glass into intricate designs that, when heated and stretched ever thinner, would become rich in minute detail. They described this process as millefiori, "a thousand flowers". I combine these traditional techniques with polymer clay, a versatile, modern material, to make fanciful, colorful, and intricately detailed pieces of jewelry. It allows me to blend my love of nature and art with my perception of color, form, and design.

Polymer Clay Millefiori Cane Working
The process I use is called millefiori cane working, which is the building of logs of clay with an image running through it. I begin by mixing all the colors and shades I will need to make the final cane. Then I make a long section of each individual part that makes up the finished picture. Each feather of the heron or petal of a flower must be made first before combining them into a log. Making sure to pack the parts together firmly, the log can then be reduced in size by stretching or rolling to make the small, intricately detailed images that you see in my work. After creating the pieces, they are baked in ovens to make them durable. Polymer clay is lightweight, fade resistant, and waterproof. Pieces are finished with gold fill, sterling silver, or niobium wire. Posts are surgical steel. Barrettes are excellent quality French barrettes, and pendants are strung on 49 strand Beadalon, using glass, polymer and semi precious beads.

To contact me:beadunique@fairpoint.net
Barbara Sperling
2339 Green Hill Rd, Chatham, NH 03813
603 694-3591

Iris Mosaic Jewelry Box
Millefiori Canework demonstration of flower
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