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The Impiraressa – Bead Stringer

The Impiraressa and Venetian seed beads

Impiraressa by Giovanni Grevembroch

Impiraressa, bead stringer, as Giovanni Grevembroch called her in 1700: she who threads, from the verb impirar, Venetian term for skewering as you would with the piron, the fork. A gesture that many Venetians made with the help of long needles and thin threads to obtain bunches of tiny glass “conteria” seed beads produced for centuries in Murano .

Impiraressa Marisa Convento con aghi e conterie

These skeins of colourful and minute seed beads could thus be more easily shipped to all places in the world, even the most remote, where the beautiful beads were used as trading goods.

perle veneziane
collana dakota, sioux, 1850 ca, bear claws, fossili, e perle,portata solo dai capi

Appreciated by the natives of Africa, the Americas and Asia, Venetian beads have literally changed the way of communicating the diversity of identity of many people and supported the economy of glass production in Venice, even in historical periods of production decline

Robert Frederick Blum 1857-1903 circa 1885

Even in Europe, the know-how with the seed beads, the ideal means of female artistic and creative expression, has given rise to a myriad of ornamental uses.

Embroideries, jewels, needlework, knitting or loom weaving, flowers, souvenirs and commemorative objects, bags: a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes that have ennobled the simple threading in skeins, now made mechanical, in true artistic craftsmanship.

1870 borsina paesaggio

The manufacture of glass beads, a bead with a drawn rod, is no longer practiced in Murano, but it has been produced in such quantities that still allows me to create with the precious remnants of beads from the beginning of the century or even from the end of the 1800s that I have recovered over the years. Their use, for the beauty and historical value as well as for the often unique and unrepeatable colours, gives my creations an original and romantic touch, a collector’s item.

marisa convento
Collana di Marisa Convento
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