Murano is a place in Venice, Italy that is known for its glass art products. This island in Italy had been famous for its glassmakers and their masterpieces. The glass art designs had influences from Muslim and Asian crafts as it was a commercial and trading port even as early as the 7th century. The glassmaking in Italy started in the 9th century in Rome and soon the glassmakers moved further to other cities especially in Murano.
The materials that were used in these glass art pieces were flux, sodium oxide, nitrate, arsenic, dye, and other melting agents. Murano also became a center for glassmaking due to the fear of the Venetian Republic arising from the fire-hazard that could be brought about by the glassmakers’ wooden buildings and foundries. Thus, the glass factories were moved to Murano but the Venetian glass art is still closely associated with Murano glass art.
The glass makers soon became the most reputable citizens in the island and they enjoyed privileges by the 14th century when they were allowed to wear swords. Moreover, they were given immunity by the Venetian state from prosecution, yet they were not allowed to leave the Republic. Around the end of the 16th century, approximately 40 percent of the island’s inhabitants were already into the industry of glassmaking. The glassmakers had also developed several glass art techniques which made their craft of great quality and high value.
Some of these quality glass art techniques include:
There were a myriad of products made out of this glass art. Until today, Murano is known for their quality glass chandeliers, bottles, ornaments, beads, wine containers, drinking glass, jewelry, and glass sculpture. In the 1950’s to the 1960’s most of these glass products were also exported to other countries and sold as souvenirs to tourists. At present, there are still a great number of glass foundries and factories in Murano that are still manufacturing glass pieces the way these were originally done in the past.
Visitors can also check the glass museum in Palazzon Giustinian which is called the Museo Vetrario (Glass Museum). Some of the revered and reputable glass companies are still know with their brands until today. These are Formia International, Simone Cenedese, Venini, Pauly, Salviati, Barovier and Toso, and so many others that have been around for many centuries now.