Murano glass beads can be filled or blown hollow and depending on the processing technique they can be divided into three basic categories: the "conteria", the "rosette" and the "lumen beads".
"Conteria" and "Rosetta" are pearls obtained by cutting hollow reeds. The "lume pearls" are instead obtained one by one by wrapping heated glass, through a small burner called "lume", around a previously prepared iron rod and with the possibility of obtaining a practically infinite variety of models.
Conterie or Margheritine.
Glass beads for jewellery, flowers, fringes, lumiere, embroidery, trimmings and the like. Manufactured since the earliest times in Egypt, some pearls were imported to Murano in the century. The two created their own processes, had numerous students and started what was then the great conterie industry, still flourishing in Venice and Murano.
The export of the conterie is about 4 million kg per year on average. The production of the conterie starts with the production, in the usual way, of thin, stretched tubes, either from glass paste or from enamel paste for the fine conterie, which are more beautiful than the others for their vagueness of colour and brilliance. The cinnamons are selected for their size by workers known as "grader women", to the touch of their fingers, with surprising skill, speed and precision. Once cooked, the pearls come out, still well understood with the holes turati dal siribiti.
The separation of the pearls by size is the task of the governors who, for this purpose, use a series of sieves with holes decreasing in diameter, mechanically moved by shakes. Successful pearls without holes are eliminated in the orbi machine, i.e. blind pearls, which is made up of a rotating cylinder, full of very thin needles curved in an arc, which, penetrating a heap of pearls continuously fed by a hopper, insert the healthy ones to abandon them, on the opposite side, towards a collecting slide. The "blind" pearls remain behind and are recast. The conteries pass to the trade in hanks.
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