Collection: Venetian Lampwork Trade Beads

Discover the Enchanting World of Antique Venetian Wound Glass Beads found in Africa!

The meticulous art of wound glass beadmaking originated in Venice, Italy. For centuries, Venetian artisans handcrafted these miniature works of art using specialized tools and techniques. The intensive process involved first creating glass rods, then winding and decorating the heated glass around a metal mandrel.

To form the beads, the glassmaker gathered molten glass on the end of a blowpipe. Colored glass was added by rolling the molten material in powdered minerals or crushed glass. The artisan carefully wound the glass around a mandrel coated in a clay mixture. As the mandrel rotated, tools shaped the wound glass into intricate patterns, stripes, and designs. More layers and colors were added for further decoration.

Once the bead had its desired shape, it went into a kiln for a controlled cooling and hardening process. Finally, the artisan broke off the clay coating to remove the bead, leaving a signature hole through the center. Finishing touches like smoothing the hole and polishing the bead completed its transformation into a diminutive piece of wearable art.

Explore our collection today and let the allure of antique Venetian lampwork / wound glass beads sweep you away on a journey of culture, artistry, and wonder!

129 products