This graphic illustrates steps in the proces of creating a patterned glass cane.
Step A: A gather of molten glass is lowered into a steel pattern mold, which may be several inches in diameter.
Step B: The now (star) shaped gather is then lowered into another mold (this one round) that is half-filled with molten glass of a second color. The gather picks up the colored glass, (encasing the star).
Step C: A second pontil with another gather of glass is attached to the opposite end of the patterned gather. The gather is then stretched out many feet in opposite directions to form a thin cane, perhaps only 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter.
Step D: The thin cane is sliced into smaller sections to use in millefiori paperweights.
Graphic by Sue Huitt, Illinois State Museum