You will surely have heard of the famous Murano glass, the excellence of Venetian craftsmanship known all over the world. Today we’ll make you discover the art of Venetian masters.
The island of Murano is the first industrial zone in the world, a true glassmaking forge! Let’s discover the history of Murano glass.
Murano glass, history
The Romans, fleeing from the Barbarian invasions, were the first to arrive on this island in the 5th century AD. Initially the people of Murano were fishermen and salt traders, but in the nearby Venice the first furnaces were already set up. What stimulated the development of this technique was the arrival of populations fleeing from sieges and looting, such as that of Constantinople, who contributed with their knowledge to the affirmation of the art of glass in Venice.
In 1271 the great councilor of Venice decided to protect this industry by forbidding the use of glass produced outside the island and forbidding foreign masters to work in the furnaces of the city.
To keep the secret of glass processing even safer and to prevent the risk of fires in Venice, all the workshops of the master glassmakers were moved to Murano.
The guild of the masters of glass was very powerful because it contained the richness of one of the most flourishing productive and commercial activities of the Serenissima. This led them to enjoy special privileges such as immunity from judicial proceedings.
Many discoveries and innovations followed over the centuries, from the invention of the murrina to the Venetian crystal, the first transparent glass ever obtained. Even today, Murano glass is one of the protagonists of Made in Italy appreciated all over the world.
Murano glass, the main techniques
After this historic preamble you may be wondering if this art is still secret and you can guess the answer, in fact, seeing a master artisan blowing the glass is still one of the most famous attractions of this island.
When you arrive in Murano you’ll find some furnaces and small workshops that offer short demonstrations to a limited number of people, so I recommend you book this experience in advance, I was very satisfied with this demonstration of glass blowing.
I find it hard to describe how in just a few precise gestures a simple and incandescent ball can become a splendid work of art. I suggest you try this emotion in person.