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Murano Glass-making

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Bridal Cup, Angelo Barovier Enlarge

Bridal Cup
(Angelo Barovier, 15th century, GNU, Free License)

Murano Glass-making

The Island of Murano is located in the Venetian Lagoon, in northern Italy. The island was long renowned for the great expertise of its glass craftsmen. Most of the glassworkers of Venice had to move their studios to the island during the 13th century because of the fires which frequently broke out in Venice, as the ovens used by the glass factories increased the risk of fire.

Glassware from Murano Island proved extremely popular over the following centuries, and many European glass manufacturers did not hesitate to imitate the work of the Venetians. It was then decided to beef up regimentation. Glassworkers no longer had the right to leave Venetia so that they would not reveal the secret of their art. But some did, nevertheless, even if they risked death. The success of refined Murano glass rose to its apogee between the 17th and 18th centuries.

Today, production has lost its prestige, and cheap glass is henceforth manufactured to provide a living for those on the island. Certain art glass factories still create, however, objects of great quality, and work in association with contemporary artists.

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