Millefiori is a glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware.
The term millefiori is a combination of the Itallian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers). Apsley Pellatt in his book “Curiosities of Glass Making”) was the first to use the term “millefiori”, which appeared in the Oxford Dictionary in 1849. The beads were called mosaic beads before then. While the use of this technique long precedes the term millefiori, it is now frequently associated with Venetian glassware.
More recently, the millefiori technique has been applied to polymer clays and other materials. Because polymer clay is quite pliable and does not need to be heated and reheated to fuse it, it is much easier to produce millefiori patterns than with glass.
Millefiori paperweight and beads.