The technique Samantha Long uses to create her designs is called millefiori (thousand flowers). It is the same basic technique that venetian glass makers used hundreds of years ago to create the famous venetian glass beads. Instead of using glass, Samantha uses polymer clay to create her artwork. She stacks and wraps polymer clay ultimately into canes, building her design from the inside out with the different colors of clay. The canes can be rolled down and elongated thereby reducing the image size. Slices from the canes are then used to create one of a kind lamps, nightlights, stemware, vases, ornaments, jewelry, clocks and two dimensional wall hangings.
Ms. Long was raised in South Carolina. She received her B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation she interned at the Julliard School making props for the theatre department. She went on to make props for the New York Public Theatre and Shakespeare in the Park. Eventually she came back to South Carolina and worked as a scenic artist for Spoleto for several years, leaving to paint for Maine State Music Threatre. She started making polymer clay beads after moving to San Francisco. Upon her return to South Carolina in 1993 her work naturally progressed from beads into many additional forms of millefiori artwork. Samantha now lives and works in her private studio in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.