How is Glass Jewellery made - The work behind each bead


cosima montavoci by martina novak

Each bead of our Glass Jewellery is handmade by Cosima Montavoci in her studio in Amsterdam, where the Venetian Glass tradition meets contemporary aesthetics.

co glass jewellery by martina novak photography

Everything starts with coloured glass rods she melts with her Mini Minor torch, that combines oxygen with propane and creates the beautiful blue flame. Murano Glass, also known as Moretti Glass or Effetre Glass is a soft glass and melts at around 700 degrees (Celsius), at its melting point glass completely changes density and colour, and from hard and fragile, becomes what Cosima calls 'Sunset Yogurt'.

 

co glass jewllery by martina novak photography


The 'Sunset Yogurt' state of glass is the most magical moment

co glass jewellery by martina novak photography co glass jewellery by martina novak photography


To create each bead, glass is melted around a mandrel - or metal stick - which will later become the hole of the bead. The left hand holds the mandrel and continuously turns to not make glass overflow on only a side (unless it's the desired effect), the right hand holds the glass rod while it's melting, pours it onto the mandrel, switches colours to create patterns, and holds Carlo Donà's special handmade glass tools to help shaping certain beads. During this process, the left hand never stops turning and keeping the glass warm, off and on the flame. 

co glass jewellery by martina novak photography

Each different colour added to the bead is a layer that needs to be melted and levelled to create an even surface, this can take up to four hours per bead and requires a lot of patience!

cosima montavoci by martina novak photography

Once the bead is ready it's taken away from the fire and cooled down until is not incandescent anymore, then placed deep under "Japanese annealing bubbles'  that help to keep the temperature steady and making the beads cool down gradually. This process makes the beads more resistant, they need to rest at least 3 hours, but its always better to let them rest overnight to be sure they will not crack.

co glass jewellery cosima montavoci by martina novak photography

Martina Novak visited Cosima in the studio and managed to capture the magic that happens behind the process and the pictures you can see in this article are all her wonderful work.

co glass jewellery by martina novak photography
co glass jewellery by martina novak photography 

 

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