Murano Glass Blowing Techniques

“Glass-blowing” is a method which has not transformed a lot since its invention. Within the simplest words it involves a glassmaker blowing inside the pipe in order to shape a glass object in the suitable shape. What is significant in the seem of products originating from Murano glassworks is that their magnificent appearance and colours are achieved due to particular addition to the glass mixture. For example , adding gold or silver evade to the glass mixture will produce beautifully shimmering vases or containers. When a glassmaker adds zinc, the particular glass will appear to be white; whenever adding cobalt, the product will have a sea deep blue tone; when blending in manganese, the item will be violet. After the product is finished, a glassmaker places it in an oven known as “tempera” in order to cool it down.

Below, you will find a short description of various techniques used by glassmakers on Murano Island.

AVVENTURINA

The technique has been discovered in Murano in the early seventeenth century and its application allows a coloured glass item to show the effect of colour change when tilted. The legend says that avventurina glass was invented by accident whenever cooper filling was spilled with a Murano glassmaker into the glass he was working on. The glass is achieved through adding metallic elements such as cooper or chrome that are slowly crystallized out of the molten glass. It makes the glass object beautifully glittering. The word avventurina comes from the Italian word “ventura” which means fortune or chance.
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BULLICANTE

Bubbles in the glass occur either because this is definitely an intention of a glassmaker or as an accident due to improperly used technique or a glassmaker not having enough experience in this field. Hand-made products have always a few bubbles in it. Bullicate is a technique which is used with intention of creating a regular pattern of evenly spaced air bubbles. The bubbles could be larger or smaller. Single bubbles are pushed into molten cup with a spike which makes a world looks silvered when the glass cools. It was widely utilized in the 1950s.

CHALCEDONY (CALCEDONIO)

The technique had been invented in the 15th century around the Murano Island however soon after the particular formula for this kind of glass had been lost for many years. The main characteristic from the calcedonio glass is visibility of polychromatic veins which run through the particular dark-coloured glass. As a result, by blending various metal compounds in a specific fashion, the look imitating natural rocks, such as chalcedony, agate or malachite is achieved. The usual metals used in this technique are silver and nutrient oxides, such as copper, iron, or even manganese, melted with opaline glass.

CAMEO

Cameo glass is an unique luxurious form of glass art. It involves fusing two layers of different colour glass and later etching and making the object to create a design. The most famous forms of cameo glass present whitened opaque glass figures and motifs on a dark coloured background. Some of the objects may also be carved in a way to reveal portions of the underlying colours. This technique was first used by historic Romans in 30BC, and had been particularly popular among British artists at the begining of 20th century.

CRISTALLO

Cristallo, invented in 1450 in Venice by a master of glass, Angelo Borovier, is famous for being first truly colorless glass, totally clear, without any yellow-colored or greenish color originating from iron oxide impurities. It is achieved by whitening glass mixture with help associated with manganese or other de-colorants.

FENICIO

Fenicio was used on glass during the 200s AD, and at the end of the 17th century it was used by Murano glassmakers. It involves the glassworker to wrap the incandescent glass threads with a thin pontil and to comb the threads using a hooked tool when the object remains hot. After the threads are combined into a single piece of glass, the glassmaker achieves decoration which reminds festoons or feathers.

FILIGRANA

The filigrana technique was invented in the 1500s. Its final products are pieces which have an opaque white or coloured core. The technique involves using glass rods fused together, then blown and shaped from the glassmaker. There are three patterns that are produced when utilizing the filigrana technique. These are: mezza filigrana (single electrical filament rods), reticello (diamond pattern in which the threads cross and form a grid which is created as a result of twisting two halves of a glass piece in opposite directions during heating) and retortoli (two filaments turned into a spiral shape and not crossing).

GHIACCIO (ICE GLASS)

Popular within the 16th to 18th century, the particular technique involves immersing still very hot glass object in cold drinking water. It leads to creation of a cup item which appears cracked upon its surface, similar to crocked ice. After immersion in cold water, the crackles are covered along with another layer of glass.

INCALMO

Incalmo glass was produced initially in the 16th century when Italian glassmakers looked for a technique which may allow them to make glass objects with two or three different coloured sections of cup looking as if it was one item. Many different coloured glass pieces are fused together when the glass is still flexible to form a single piece.

LATTIMO (MILK GLASS)

Italian glassmakers have been using this technique since the 15th one hundred year. The main objective was to produce opaque white glass which would imitate popular that time fine china.

MILLEFIORI

This is actually the ancient technique which used for the first time in Egypt between the 3rd and 1st century BC and is nevertheless utilized by Murano glassmakers. It involves making use of thin sections of glass rods which are fused together, blown and then produced to create shapes, often in flower or geometric designs.

SOMMERSO

Created in 1930s in Murano, the particular Sommerso technique allows to create objects with a layered appearance where on coloured layer of glass will be covered by another one of different colour. Such an effect is created by using layers of glass formed by dipping the particular glass object into molten glass of another colour.