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Murano Glass

Writer: Sharon Stajda

Since the beginning of times man has been enchanted, and mesmerized by glass, perhaps due to its transparent nature? One might believe glass lends itself toward being magical and supernatural. For a good example, the crystal ball. It is used to gaze into, and perhaps see what the future holds... Glass has the magical means to capture your attention. The prisms in a crystal chandelier appear ice like, and shoot a rainbow of color which reflects on all objects around it. Glass is synonymous with beauty. Murano glass is certainly a good example of this type of magical glass.

Over a thousand years ago the glass blowers in Venice Italy began producing some of the most glorious works of glass, Murano glass. Murano is a small group of islands lying on the edge of the Adriatic Sea in the lagoon of Venice, about 3,000 meters north of the larger group of islands comprising the city of Venice.

Documentation written by a Benedict Monk, by the name of Dominic, gives good evidence that the origin of glassblowing in Venice goes back to before the first millennium. Domenico produced phials for use in the home. Today Venetian glass production is at its pinnacle, and is world renowned for its quality and form. Today Murano glassblowers use the same technology to create their wonderful works of art.

Tourist visit daily at the Murano Factory to watch as the glassblowers create wonderful works of art glass. It may appear that time has stood still. The master glassblowers remain committed to the tradition, and turn out some of the most enchanting glass in the world. The glassblower’s pipes are made in machine shops on the island of Murano as they were from the conception of Murano Glass.

In 1291 the government of Venice put a banned on the glass furnaces in Venice. Hence the glassblowing was relegated to the Island of Murano. It is believed by historians that this all came about due to fear of fires, which could result from the use of the glass furnaces. Many of the structures of the time were wooden; this caused great concern among the citizens. Another train of thought was that the move would isolate the master glassblowers, and prevent them from sharing their valuable techniques in glassblowing with other European glass makers. The glassblowers were kept virtual prisoners on the island. The Venetian government did not want the glassblowers’ methods to leave the island. Murano glass was soon to become the leading source of fine glass through out Europe, and a major trade income for the Republic of Venice.

Murano glass was well known for it being exquisite, yet utilitarian. The mirrors for instance, were intricately decorated and beautiful. The glassblowers of Murano are well known for a wide variety of glass Item's.

Today Murano glass still holds it place in the glass industry. The island and people of Murano produce a wonderful selection of glass items. From vases, perfume bottles, to glass jewelry. It is well sought after, especially the older pieces. These older pieces can still be found. You may even find pieces on the Internet, there are many Web sites that sell Murano glass. You may want to try your luck on an on-line auction.

If you are lucky enough to visit Venice, don't miss going to Murano to see the glassblowers show. An easy way to reach the island is by water taxi (vaporetto).The taxis are paid for by the Murano factories, in hopes of having many tourists visit and buy their glass. When you get off the taxi at the taxi landing, you will be within close proximity to the Murano Museo Vetrario, the glass museum. This is well worth the tour; you will learn the history of Murano glass along with the techniques used by the artist. The glassblowers put on a wonderful show. You will most likely want to buy a trinket to take home. The glass ranges any where from glass bon bons for $1 to $5, to magnificent chandeliers for anywhere from $400 to $8,500. There is something for everyone, of every age. Murano glass is truly beautiful, and can add that little bit of sparkling magic to your home.

Below is a small sampling of estimated auction prices for Murano glass:

Lotus Glass Art Centerpiece Murano - Auction Price: $2,050.00

Murano Glass 1

Murano LTD ED Art Glass by SALVIATI - Auction Price: $710.00

Murano Glass 2

Mrano/Venetian/Crystal/Glass Chandelier - Auction Price: $397.00

Murano Glass 3

Venini Tapio Wirkkala Murano glass plate - Auction Price: $560.00

Murano Glass 4

Ltd Ed Salviati Riccio Art Glass from Murano - Auction Price: $510.00

Murano Glass 5

Ltd Ed Vaso Bucato Art Glass/Murano/Salviati - Auction Price: $433.99

Murano Glass 6

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