Murano glass: The Art of Venice
The art of making glass has never been quite as entrenched in a place as in Murano, Venice. Murano glass first made its appearance in the 8th century, and despite various ups and downs, has managed to not only endure but also flourish in our modern times.
Known for its extraordinary beauty and amazing delicacy, there have been times when pieces of Murano were used to successfully fake precious stones like rubies and emeralds. Murano glass has been prized for more than ten centuries, its appeal increased in the modern times by the immense weight of history behind it. To touch a piece of Murano glass at a workshop in Venice is to reach back in time, and imagine oneself in medieval gear or even further, in the realm of ancient history.
Murano glass can be a sheer ornament, filigreed and worked upon, exotic. Or it can be a part of the vita quotidiana, the daily life, in the form of an ashtray or a figurine, a piece of jewelry or a flower vase. But the artistry and skill required to create each piece is undeniable, as is the long, elaborate and often arduous process of its making.
There was a time when Murano was isolated from other places and its artisans were threatened with death if they tried to leave the place – all in order to preserve the secrets of its glass-makers. But today, tourists flock to Murano workshops to watch the fascinating process of making glass in order to better appreciate the time, craftsmanship, and effort that goes into creating each piece.
In this section, Life in Italy brings to you articles and information on Murano glass, its history, the process of creating it and all the other aspects of this wonderful branch of art that continues to mesmerize the lovers of all things beautiful.
Introduction by Damyanti Ghosh