Unique glass art of Murano
On the remote island of Murano, 1.5 kilometers from Venice, there are glass factories focused on the manufacture of fantastic beauty glass things. Unique handmade Murano products (Antica Murina) – known since the 10th century and every glass-creation is unique and exclusive. The price may vary from a few euros to hundreds thousands (works of art), and they are all unique. One of the most desirable gifts from Italy, although, in principle, to buy products made from Murano glass is possible in many parts of the world. Local glass-makers still insist that authentic Murano glass is possible to buy only in Murano.
In fact, Murano has always had a reputation of a center for glass-making in Italy. Bresides, Murano’s glass-makers were most prominent citizens of the time. By the 14th century, glass-makers were allowed to wear swords, and their daughters could marry Venice’s nobles, which wasn’t a misalliance.
Traditionally, Murano glass artists create everything from contemporary glass figurines to chandeliers. Also, intricate glass beads, wine stoppers, and souvenirs. Noteworthy, the masters still use the centuries-old techniques. Thus, Murano is home to a great number of factories, as well as private studios of free lance artists.
A glass-maker uses colors, techniques and materials depending on the look he wants to achieve. Thus, they achieve aquamarine color using of copper and cobalt, ruby red by adding a gold. Layering colored liquid glass, and then stretching into long rods (canes), they achieve such a beauty. Next, they cut these canes and slice in cross-section (when cold), which reveals the layered pattern.
Influenced by Venetian glass artists, the Murano glass-makers have been making beads since 1291, using refined technologies. The glass can be of varios kinds. For instance, crystalline glass, enameled (smalto), with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored (millefiori), and milk (lattimo). In addition, imitation of gemstones made of glass unmatched anywhere in the world.
Unique glass art of Murano
Rewritten in 1441 document, ‘Mariegola dell’Arte dei Verieri de Muran’ contains rules of all phases of glass-making. In particular, from production to selling, taxes and the relations between the owners, glass masters and other workers in the factory. Meanwhile, the original document – witnessed by a notary dating from 982, signed by a certain Domenico, a ‘fiolario’, glass maker, who mainly produced bottles known as ‘fiole’.
By the way, in The Sopranos episode, “A Hit Is a Hit”, Tony Soprano’s neighbor, Jean Cusimano, who hosts a dinner party, comments about the glass:
Jean Cusamano: Oh, but that bar with the goombah Murano glass.
Dr. Jennifer Melfi: I like Murano glass.