?The small Venetian island of Murano is known worldwide thanks to its glassmaking tradition. Murano glass is sofisticated, beautiful and extremely elegant. Expert glassmakers transform silica (sand) in something way more appealing: fragile art.
The small Venetian island of Murano is known worldwide thanks to its glassmaking tradition. Murano glass is sofisticated, beautiful and extremely elegant. Expert glassmakers transform silica (sand) in something way more appealing: fragile art.
Usually, jewellery is not the first thing to spring to mind thinking when we think about Murano glass, maybe chandeliers and sculptures are. Nevertheless, it is quite amazing and assorted: beads, necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings but also watches and pendants.
Colours, materials and techniques varies depending on what the glassmaker is trying to achieve.
Tools are an essential part of the work of a glass master either. Special tools such as Canna da soffio (blowing pipe), Borselle (tongs used to hand-form the hot glass), Scagno (Workbench),Tagianti (Glass-cutting clippers) and Pontello (an iron rod used to refine the object after blowing) are essential to create. But in the end, skilled hands are a glass master’s best tool.
Murrine is perhaps one of the most representative tehniques of the Murano glassmaking tradition. Invented by the Romans around the 1st Century B.C, then lost and rediscovered by Venetian glassmasters in 15th Century, Murrine is a complex and multi-stage process technique. The fist step is to melt coloured patterns or images in a thin glass cane, subsequently the rods are cut into little mosaic-like pieces to reveal their inner design. Then, the little pieces are assembled by hand into various shapes and patterns, usuallly melted with clear glass as it is being blown to create beautiful mixed techniques objects. Murrine can be made with infinite patterns and designs, Millefiori (“Thousand Flowers” in Italian) being one of the most appreciated of all.
Sommerso (meaning “submerged” or “sunken” in Italian) consists in dipping the object (coloured glass, small pieces of copper flecks or Aventurina, glass with threads of gold) in two or more different contrasting colours of molten glass. Subsequently, the layers of contrasting colours formed are encased in clear glass. The technique was developed in Murano in the late thirties and made popular by the artist Seguso D’Arte in the fifties.
This technique mixes together crystal, gold and silver. Little pieces of copper are combined with sterling silver and glass foils on a translucent colour base, then covered with crystal clear glass. Simply striking, perfect for necklaces and earrings.
Foil beads technique is quite similar to Sigola technique, but this time glass is mixed with silver or gold foils, or both, creating various light effects. The shades of glass underneath the layer of metal can be more or less visible, creating a clear, glowy appearance.
Meaning “window”, this technique consists in laying small metal foils in coloured pieces of glass, creating a sort of multi-layered structure, very similar to a window.
Be it classic or contemporary design, Murano glass jewellery is sophisticated and sought after: a real statement from the one who wears it.