The Venetian island of Murano has been working with glass for centuries, and is home to a large number of factories and studios, creating diverse works of art.
The Venetian island of Murano has been working with glass for centuries, and is home to a large number of factories and studios, creating diverse works of art. Among the many techniques utilized on the island, glass blowing still stands out as a favourite.
Glass blowing consists of blowing air through a blowpipe, forming a bubble of molten glass. The glass can then be molded, patterned, and coloured to craft whatever suits the creator. The art form dates back to the start of the Roman Empire, with the first glass workshops set up in contemporary Lebanon and Israel, and it subsequently spread throughout the world, landing in Italy by the middle of the first century AD.
In 1291, while at war with the Genoese, The Venetian Republic ordered glassmakers to move their factories to Murano, fearing fire and destruction of their buildings. This was the start of Murano’s legendary reputation for glass. By the 1950s and 60s, they were doing a roaring trade in exports and tourist souvenirs.
Today, many of Murano’s historical glass factories remain operational, and are still recognized worldwide. Venetian glass, highly regarded for its quality and style, is most often a product of Murano. And although demand has lessened over time, the glass blowers of Murano continue to do what they do best.