Artisan Glassware from the Venetian Island of Murano

For centuries skilled artisans have honed the delicate craft of creating the finest glassware in the Venetian island of Murano, giving Murano a distinguished reputation as the center of traditional glass-blowing techniques. Glassmaking in Venice dates back to the eighth century, but it was in the early years of the thirteenth century when it became the leading purveyor of fine glass in Europe.

In 1291 Venetian glass production was moved exclusively to the isle of Murano to protect its trademark. Craftsmen were prohibited from leaving the island to protect the secrets of their trade, but were richly recompensed by being rewarded with an elevated social status. The innovative techniques developed led to Murano glassmakers being lauded as the finest producers of luxury glassware and the island gained a virtual monopoly on fine glassware production. The island’s influence waned over the years, but it experienced a revival during the twentieth century as modern glass artists returned to traditional Murano techniques, restoring Murano’s reputation as the center of glassware excellence.

Transparent Cristallo Veneziano glass.

The discovery of transparent cristallo Veneziano glass originated in Murano, along with esteemed glassmaking techniques such as lattimo, murrino and filigree. Over the years Murano famously produced stunning chandeliers, reflective mirrors, wine glasses and goblets, and figurines. Today specialist Venetian glassware is so coveted for its beauty it inspires imitations, thus original pieces from Murano bear the certification ‘Vetro Artistico ® Murano,’ recognizable by its red and blue markings. Only glassware created on the Venetian isle is certified with the Murano trademark, to protect it from mass produced imitations.

Murano is still synonymous with fine glassware and visitors to Venice should take a water taxi to the isle of Murano to shop for genuine items and to visit a glass factory to admire the glassblowing techniques still practiced. The Murano Glass Museum, established in 1861 in the Palazzo Giustinian, showcases impressive display of glassware through the years. The regular addition of contemporary pieces ensures the collection continually expands. The museum also hosts regular exhibitions. Glass making demonstrations can be appreciated at the Mazzega factory, the Colleoni glass factory and the Rialto glass factory. The famous glass ateliers of FerroMerano, Berengo, Pino Signoretto, Salviato and Venini can be explored. In addition to its reputation as a glass making center of excellence Murano is also famous for engraving artisans who work on completed glass pieces. Shoppers for fine pieces will be enticed by an amazing array of glassware ranging from glass earring and pendants, through to glass vases, perfume bottles, candlesticks, sculptures and mirrors.

Glass wall celebrate Venice Glass Week.

Perhaps the best time for those appreciative of beautiful Murano glassware to visit the island is during the Venice Glass Week, an annual international festival celebrating the artistic creation of glass. The festival focuses on Murano glassware. Amidst events such as workshops, screenings and themed evenings, it features exhibitions of stunning glassware. During the inaugural Venice Glass Week there was a ‘Light-Blowing’ exhibition and a ‘Five Glass Blowing Techniques’ exhibit, alongside exhibitions showcasing the work of individual glass artisans. The festival draws attention to the unique specialism of Murano glass and the historical importance of the Murano renaissance.

Choose Milano Glassware for Superb Craftsmanship

If you appreciate the finer things in life and like to surround yourself with beautiful objects, then sophisticated glassware will be on your radar. The finest glassware is of course not only remarkable for its delicacy of design, but for its practicality. Wine goblets can not only be admired for their graceful appearance but can be used to savor your favorite wines in elegant style. European glassware, whether from Murano or Romania, is appreciated by collectors who admire the unique craftsmanship that goes into such visually aesthetic pieces and add a luxuriant air to the home when they are displayed.

Acclaimed for its resemblance to stained glass windows, Milano glassware has earned a reputation amongst collectors of fine pieces who appreciate its distinctive beauty. Milano glassware is crafted by Romanian artisans, using time-honored traditional methods. Each piece of unique 100 percent lead-free crystal glassware is individually mouth-blown before being painted by hand. As no two pieces are identical it is coveted by glassware connoisseurs who are proud to add to their collections, yet remains accessible to anyone who appreciates beautiful glassware.

Milano glassware has a particular method of production. First the piece of glassware is hand blown and then swirled in molten cobalt blue before being polished and then hand painted with colors and 24 carat gold, creating threads. A final firing of the glass preserves the distinctive Milano colors on the crystal ware. The stained glass effect refracts light in an incomparable way, making each Milano piece a treasured and coveted item. Traditionally cobalt blue was used in Milano glassware but molten black and molten platinum have been introduced respectively in the Milano Noir and the Milano Special Edition collections.

In addition to stocking ones bar shelves with Milano glassware such as brandy snifters and wine goblets, one can also opt for larger pieces such as bowls and vases, or decorative ornaments and lamps. Milano glasses make perfect wedding gifts, representing European elegance to display in the home. Over time a collection can be built to include champagne flutes, champagne coupes, cocktail glasses, old fashioned glasses, beer glasses and shot glasses. There are separate designs for red and wine glasses, alongside balloon goblets.
To compliment any Milano glassware collection the range includes whiskey decanters, pitchers and ice buckets. For ornamentation the Milano collection features candle holders, oil lamps and Christmas tree baubles.

As each piece of Milano glassware is individually crafted and painted, and imported from Romania, it tends to cost a little more than domestic glassware. However it has a timeless beauty that will grace any home with style and could appreciate in value as collectors’ items. The sophistication of each piece will become a talking point, whether it is kept in a pristine display cabinet or used for drinks at a dinner party. Each piece is durable and with care can be preserved over time by keeping out of direct sunlight and by hand washing. The colors will retain their sharp clarity over time and the crystal is designed to always refract light.