Exploring Murano, Italy: A Treasure Island Of Glass Art

A view of Murano, Italy

What to know about Murano Island.

Murano, Italy deserve the name of the treasure island next to Venice for the richness of its glass art and historical treasures. Along with Burano and Torcello, Murano is an ancient island community which today is officially a part of Venice, Italy.

Murano, Italy is a picturesque “Little Venice” which is based not on one but on nine islands, with its own Grand Canal cutting through its center. Murano is renowned worldwide for its handmade glass, which has been produced on this island since 1291. Most amazingly, the production process continues today almost unchanged from the centuries past. It involves incredible artisan skills and only the most basic tools.

A visit to Murano isn’t just a day trip from Venice; it’s an immersive journey into a world of old-fashioned craftsmanship where tradition reigns supreme. Murano glass, famous for its quality and beauty, has made this island a must-visit destination for art lovers, history gurus, and people fascinated with ancient crafts. In this guide, we’ll explain why Murano has to be on your Venice itinerary, how to get the most from your visit, and how to find the piece of Murano Glass that speaks to your soul.

Why Visit Murano, Italy?

Murano is a vibrant community with a rich history, centered around glassmaking. It’s a place frozen in time. Here, beyond a few tourist-filled lanes lies a quiet community of craftsmen who live their lives much like they did in medieval times. There are no cars, people walk or use boats, and you will frequently see locals taking a break from their routine to chat or grab lunch or a drink together. The island is dotted with traditional glass factories, workshops, single artisan studios, and countless Murano Glass shops for every taste and budget. Whether you’re an art fan, history buff, or enjoy the quietness of a bygone era, Murano offers an amazing experience.

Getting There: Reaching Murano from Venice is easy. The most scenic and cost-effective way to get there is by vaporetto (Venetian name for the public water bus). Lines 4.1 and 4.2 provide regular service to Murano Island and back from various areas in Venice, including Fondamente Nove on The Northern shore of Venice and San Zaccaria vaporetto hub near Piazza San Marco . The journey from Fondamente Nove takes only about 15 minutes, and comes with the unbeatable views of the Venetian Lagoon. If you prefer to travel in style there are private water taxis, though this option is much more expensive.

How Long to Spend: Most travelers explore Murano for a few hours while being based in Venice. However, recently, several stylish hotels popped up on Murano itself, allowing travelers to get a sense of authentic Venice. It is especially enjoyable in the evenings when the day trippers leave and only the locals are out and about. Spending at least one full day on the island allows you to appreciate its treasures without rushing. If you have time for an overnight stay, your time in Murano will be even more rewarding.

A view of Grand Canal in Murano, Italy

Top 5 Attractions in Murano, Italy:

  1. Murano Glass Museum and Art Glass Galleries: The Murano Glass Museum, located in the historic Palazzo Giustinian, traces the history of glassmaking in Murano. Here you will find the world’s best collection of Venetian glass art that spans centuries. After visiting this museum and learning all about Murano Glass, peek into private art galleries to see both traditional and contemporary Murano glass art. This will help you appreciate the evolution of Murano Glass and the new trends in the artistic landscape surrounding the local production.
  2. Glass Factories: Visiting a glass factory is a must-do in Murano. Admire the process of glassblowing, with its coordinated movements by multiple artisans. Everyone has a specific function in the furnace and artisans work together like a well-oiled machine. Glass craftsmanship is a tradition that has made Murano famous worldwide. Many factories offer tours and demonstrations, providing an insight into the process of turning molten glass into vases, sculptures, and Murano glass jewelry.
  3. Church of San Pietro Martire: This ancient 14th century church was once dedicated to St, John the Evangelist. Then after a fire in 1511 it weas rebuilt and rededicated to St. Peter. The church’s basic brick facade contrasts with its stunning interior. There are grand Murano Glass chandeliers, paintings by Venetian masters including Veronese, Tintoretto, and Bellini. Further in, the sacristy holds a masterpiece of the local 17th century wood-carving genius Pietro Morando. This is a beloved church of the locals. Every year on December 6th they come here for a special mass to celebrate St. Nicholas, the patron saint of glass artisans.
  4. Campo Santo Stefano and Its Artisan Shops: This square is the center of Murano’s social life, where the locals and tourists gather to eat, socialize, and shop. It is home to the famous Murano Glass Comet – a large modernistic art glass creation crafted by Simone Cenedese. The square features the prominent 19th century clock tower visible from anywhere on the island. On the other side of the canal is the eponymous church of Santo Stefano. Step in to see the tomb of doge Francesco Morosini and a rich sacristy full of outstanding Venetian paintings.
  5. Murano Glass Shops: The shops selling everything from small trinkets to Murano Glass jewelry to vases, sculptures, drinking glasses and tableware dot the island. Spend some time browsing various stores to appreciate the variety of styles, colors, designs and craftsmanship techniques and find what is closest to your heart. After discovering your favorite designs, find out where prices are the most reasonable. If you can, buy a piece that will always remind you of your special trip to Murano, Italy.

Get The Full Murano Experience

Beyond the attractions, the full Murano experience allows you to experience the local life. Indulge in the local cuisine at authentic restaurants, drink coffee in little coffee shops where you can observe the slow enjoyment of life. Stroll along the quiet canals, and interact with the locals whose families have been involved in glassmaking for generations. The warmth of the Murano residents, the fresh local food, and slow pace of life will enrich your Murano experience. You will remember it long after you leave.

Still in Doubt? Visit Murano and Share Your Story

Murano, Italy, is a special destination. It may lack the allure of Rome, Venice and Florence with their masterpiece-packed museums. But it offers so much in the way of authentic Italian experience that you simply cannot miss it. Some people visit for Murano glass, others for the promise of a quiet respite from Venice’s crowds. Regardless, Murano awaits with colorful glass, surprisingly rich art collections in local churches, and simple pleasures that define Italian famous “la dolce vita”. Have you visited Murano island? Share your impressions in the comments under this post for fellow travelers who are still not sure whether carving a day out of a packed Italian itinerary for Murano is worth it.


Guide to Choosing the Best Glass Vase for Any Style

Glass vases in brown and neutral tones in Murano Glass by Carlo Scarpa. Copyright Glass Of Venice, 2023.
Glass vases in brown and neutral tones in Murano Glass by Carlo Scarpa. Copyright Glass Of Venice, 2023.

Glass vases are such a popular design element – they instantly add sophistication and elegance to any space. Some of the reasons for this popularity include their accessibility, affordability, and multitude of available options. Glass vases come in a wide range of colors, sizes, shapes, and styles. However, precisely because so many options exist it is hard to understand how to pick just the right glass vase for your needs. Read our guide to choosing the best glass vase for any style to avoid a hard and tiresome search process and know how to approach finding the right piece for your home or office.

Classic Styles Spell Easy Elegance

Glass vases never go out of style. Their innate beauty, reflective qualities, and wide variety of designs make them a must-have in every home or office. Whether you are a minimalist seeking simplicity and elegance or a bohemian lover attracted to color and interesting forms, there is a glass vase that perfectly fits your taste and enhances your space.

Classic shapes, such as cylinders, spheres, or cubes, make easy design choices thanks to their simplicity. These elegant vases complement both traditional and modern interiors. Whether your home has a country French, Mediterranean, classic American, contemporary, or minimalist style, a classic transparent glass vase will add just the right accent to any room of your house. 

What’s more, glass vases add refinement to the space without being overbearing and mix well with other decorative elements. Designers often recommend placing single-stem flowers or simple foliage in these vases, such that the clean lines of the glass vase complement the beauty and the inherent elegance of the flowers in order to take the room’s ambiance to the next level.

Colorful Expressions of Creativity

Glass vases in red and black in Murano Glass by Carlo Scarpa. Copyright Glass Of Venice, 2023.
Red and black Murano Glass vases by Carlo Scarpa. Copyright Glass Of Venice, 2023.

Color plays a key role in interior design. Glass vases, available in virtually any color palette ranging from vibrant reds, blues, and black, to soft pastels, to transparent glass provide an opportunity to infuse personality into your spaces. A large bold and colorful vase, be it a floor vase or a vase you put on an accent table, becomes the focal point of the room. During parties or family gatherings, it will create a warm and interesting accent that will set your space apart from any similarly designed homes. You can effortlessly showcase your taste and preference for styles and colors through a large accent vase. 

Some of the best choices if you love glass vases in rich colors come in Murano Glass. These blown glass vases handcrafted in Murano, Italy, sport interesting designs often with gold- or silver leaf or Murrina (aka “Millefiori”) inclusions. Red, green or blue Murano Glass vases make perfect centerpieces both in rooms with neutral palettes and in those where bright colors already play a role. 

If your wall colors are bold or on the darker side, opaque glass vases in pink, milky-white, soft-blue or beige colors may be a better choice than bright big pieces. They will nicely balance brighter design choices made for rugs, curtains, or wall colors and create a calm accent and a more harmonious atmosphere.

Deciding on Shapes and Sizes

The diversity in shapes and sizes of glass vases allows for many different decorative solutions. Tall, slender vases enhance vertical space and are perfect for long-stemmed flowers, artificial greenery, or dried plants. Tall glass vases make the space feel airier and ceilings seem higher. Shorter, and wider vases, on the other hand, work well in tighter areas, accentuating shelf spaces, bed stands, or window sills. 

Bright or transparent vases that are short in round, oval, or square shapes work well for seasonal arrangements. These may be summer-themed collections of seashells, sea glass, and sand, autumn arrangements of fallen leaves and acorns, or Christmas ones of winter pine cones, poinsettia, winterberries, and Christmas ornaments. Glass vases used to hold decorative arrangements are excellent for creating a feeling of coziness and warmth, and adding an interesting seasonal touch to home decor.

When It’s Time to Consult with Designers

Design experts love to recommend glass vases due to their versatility and wide applications in decorative solutions, as well as relative affordability. Their wide range of colors, styles, and shapes allows for placements in various settings, such as centerpieces, mantelpieces, or corners. Designers often utilize glass vases to introduce new colors and textures, coordinate with room palettes, or create visual interest through contrast. Their transformative ability is the key to changing the perception of a room without changing any significant aspects of it, such as wall colors or furniture. space to feel refreshed and invigorated without extensive redecoration.

Sometimes, your space may be in need of a refresh but you may not be quite sure what action to take. Is it now fall or winter and your room is still stuck in the summer vibe? Are the shelves or tables too empty and you don’t have that warm sense of home in the empty-feeling room? Do your curtains or rug stand out too much from the rest of your room’s color scheme? Then it’s likely time to talk to an interior designer about a way to add a glass vase or two. A well-chosen vase in the design and color that works with the rest of the decor will work wonders to change the ambiance and appeal of any room in your house.

Glass Vases as Office Decor

Glass vases in interior decor
Glass vases in the office and professional decor add style and easy elegance.

Glass vases are not limited to home environments; they also work well to accentuate office spaces. In an office, a glass vase can break the monotony, creating a welcoming atmosphere that boosts morale and productivity. A thoughtfully chosen vase makes an office feel more personalized and less sterile, achieving a balance between professionalism and creativity.

It’s a good idea to put a colorful glass vase on a coffee table in a reception area to add an interesting emphasis to an otherwise neutral space. Or you can put a glass vase on a nice shelf, desk, or credenza in the work area to warm up the professional and neutral space with an interesting design element. In order to offset the dullness of a typical office, don’t choose a plain-looking transparent vase. Instead, pick vases with interesting shapes and colors, such as Italian Murano Glass handkerchief vases, or other intricately shaped Murano vases crafted using traditional glass-blowing techniques.

Practical Beauty: Maintenance and Care

Glass vases are popular not only thanks to their beauty and great fit into many designs, but also for easy maintenance. Their surfaces are generally easy to clean both from dust and after putting flowers inside. In the former case, all you need is to use a dust wipe or a damp cloth to gently clean and polish the surface. In the latter case, you can safely wash the vase under the running water with mild soap, then gently dry it with a lint-free towel and polish it with a glass polishing cloth. Periodic cleaning of your glass vases will ensure that they maintain their brilliance over time.

5 Tips for Selecting a Glass Vase for Your Decor

  1. Consider the Placement: Envision where the vase will stand. Which room will you put it in? Which furniture piece will it stand on? Low coffee table? A mantle? A high shelf or a countertop? The location will guide your choice regarding the preferred design, size, and shape.
  1. Pick a Vase That Works with Your Style: Your vase should complement your existing décor or be a thoughtfully placed contrasting element. Consider the colors, patterns, and overall style of your space, and pick a piece that will achieve your decorative goal.
  1. Quality Matters: Look for high-quality vases when possible to ensure durability and aesthetic appeal. Murano Glass vases are one of the top choices when it comes to originality, quality, and artistic value. These vases have a long history of traditional craftsmanship and are handmade one at a time.
  1. Explore and Experiment: Don’t shy away from experimenting with different styles. Use smartphone artificial intelligence capabilities on many shopping websites to see how a particular vase will look in your space. Sometimes, a unique vase can surprise you by perfectly aligning with your interior.

Finding Your Perfect Vase

Finding the ideal glass vase involves exploring various designs, forms, and colors. In order to better understand and evaluate various options, you may want to visit stores to physically see different vases in various design settings. Due to glass’ reflective qualities, glass vases are tricky because they look different under different lighting conditions and in different color schemes. 

It may be that after exhaustive search you still can’t find exactly what you are looking for. The wide variety of styles and colors may feel overwhelming and create confusion rather than make your choice apparent. If that is the case – do not despair, you can make your own vase! Glass masters at Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York will guide you through the process and help you bring your idea for the perfect glass vase to life.

Once you have a good idea of what vase you are looking for,  you can search online, where you will find many more options than by visiting a few stores. Many online platforms offer extensive collections, allowing you to find something that resonates with your taste. GlassOfVenice.com has the largest selection of authentic handmade Murano Glass vases outside of Venice, Italy. There are vases in all color schemes and designs to help you pick one that will look best in your home or office. Make sure to read customer reviews to choose a vase that aligns with your expectations in terms of quality and design.

It may seem like a difficult process to find the vase of your dreams that will perfectly fit into your interior design. However, if approached right, shopping for a vase is a fun and interesting activity, which will expose you to a multitude of possibilities and open your horizons to new styles and design solutions. Most importantly, pick the piece you’ll love looking at and will not get tired of even as time passes.


All You Need To Know About Glass

What Is Glass?

Glass is a manmade material that is hard when finished. Source materials for making most types of glassware are silica, limestone, and soda ash. These are melted together in a special furnace at very high temperatures of about 1,600 Celsius (2,900 Fahrenheit). The mixture is then gradually cooled to achieve a hard state.

Ancient Roman glass vases, bowls, and other vessels.

Where was Glass Invented?

First human-made glass we know of comes from the area of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt and was crafted in the 3rd millennium BCE. The oldest objects which survived to our days are glass beads. Scientists think that those were most likely accidentally created while making faience or metals.

What is Glass Made Of?

Glass is made from simple ingredients easily found in nature: sand (silica), crushed limestone, and soda ash (sodium carbonate, similar to baking soda). When glass was first made, ancient artisans obtained soda ash by burning wood and plants and using the ashes.

How Is Glass Made?

Since ancient times people have used multiple methods to make glassware. All of them included heating the main source ingredients, sand, soda, and limestone to very high temperatures. The earliest methods were melting in kilns and core-forming. 

As glass masters turned to crafting decorative objects, new methods of glass-making were developed. In the 4th century BCE Syrians made glass using mold-shaping. Then Romans made it the cornerstone of their glassmaking industry in the 1st century CE. They created molds of various shapes with reliefs on the sides and blew glass into the mold to give it the predetermined shape and design.

Glassmaking in a factory on Murano Island in Venice, Italy.

Famous Italian Glass in Venice

Italian Glass started its history in ancient Rome, where the glass industry was split into glass-making and glass-forming. The former was creating chunks of glass in kilns from raw materials. The latter used these premade chunks to create objects by reheating them to achieve a malleable state.

Mold-blowing learned from the ancient Greeks was used by Romans early on in the 1st century CE, and later more complicated techniques were perfected, such as millefiori or murrina (mosaic glass). 

The next stage of glass-making in Italy started after the fall of the Roman Empire in the Venetian Lagoon. Venetian Republic was created in the 8th century CE after refugees from the Roman Empire banded together and created a strong fishing and salt-trading community. 

The first glass furnace discovered in the area also dates from that time. The historians agree that some of the refugees must have brought with them advanced glass-making skills because glassware was an important product in the Roman economy, and they put those skills to use in their new home.

The official history of Murano Glass – the most famous Italian Glass – starts in 1292 when the Venetian government issued a decree that all glassworks in Venice had to relocate to the Island of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon.

This created a unique situation where the concentration of skills and talent on a small island led to the rapid development of glassmaking techniques and the evolution of the craft. During the Renaissance interest in decorative glassware heightened and glass blowing on Murano island turned into a large and profitable industry, which survives to this day.

Murano Glass filigrana vases, goblets, bottles in Murano Glass Museum, Murano, Italy.

Italian Glass Manufacturers

The Italian Glass industry includes both mass-produced and hand-made glass. Italian hand-made glass crafted on Murano Island is the most famous art glass in the world. Therefore, the most prominent Italian glass manufacturers hail from Murano and include Barovier, Fratelli Toso, Salviati, Radi, and many others.

Angelo Barovier is known for discovering the secret to creation of transparent glass in the 15th century, which allowed for creation of mirrors, chandeliers, and more. 

Fratelli Toso company was formed soon after the fall of Venice to Napoleon and helped sustain Italian glass-making in that difficult period. In 1864 they created a large Murano Glass chandelier for the Murano Glass Museum. They also rediscovered Millefiori glass and crafted many artistic Millefiori pieces.

Salviati was a lawyer by trade who decided to bring luster back into Murano glass-making. He opened glassworks in Venice and hired top artisans to craft glass mosaics. The aim was to restore darkened and dull ancient glass mosaics used inside San Marco Basilica. 

This project was a raging success, which brought Venetian glass-making back into the limelight. Salviati’s company participated in the 1862 World Fair in London and commissions soon came in from Westminster Cathedral, Paris Opera, and other world-famous buildings.


Murano, Italy: The History Of Innovation In Blown Glass

The term “Murano Glass” carries significant weight in the art world, referring to a distinct style of glass-making exclusive to Murano, Italy. On this small island, centuries-old traditions combine with innovation to create stunning blown glass artworks. Murano blown glass is renowned for its complexity, color vibrancy, and sheer artistic beauty.

The History of Murano, Italy

View of Murano, Italy

Murano, Italy, a cluster of islands in the Venetian Lagoon, has a rich and varied history. The few islands known collectively as Murano had been initially settled by the Romans. However, starting from around the 6th century Murano became a refuge for various people fleeing from the barbarian invasions spurred by the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It eventually became a flourishing independent city with an economy dominated by salt production and fishing, as well as trading with nearby cities and islands. 

After centuries as a separate jurisdiction, starting from the 13th century it became an administrative district of Venice. This is when the Grand Council of the Venetian Republic ordered all glassmakers to relocate to Murano. Thus, Murano Glass industry was born. This event marked the official start of Murano island’s long path to becoming the worldwide center of excellence for glass blowing.

What Is Special About Murano Glass

Today Murano, Italy, is still home to artisans who have mastered the local art of glass blowing. They use long-established techniques, some dating back to the times of the Roman Empire. The officially recognized Murano glass story began in the 13th century when all glassmakers in Venice had to relocate to Murano to mitigate the risk of fires. 

The 13th-century decree making glass masters relocate to Murano resulted in the concentration of extraordinary glassmaking skills in one place. Hence, Murano became the epicenter of Europe’s glassmaking industry, and its artisans developed techniques and styles that set their creations apart. The glassmakers’ prowess was so highly valued that they enjoyed many privileges, including immunity from prosecution and intermarriage with Venice’s nobility.

The uniqueness of Murano blown glass lies in its striking aesthetic appeal, unmatched quality, and innovative designs. Each piece, whether a vase, bowl, chandelier, or figurine, tells a story. Following centuries of tradition, the island’s craftsmen do not follow a mass production approach, which means each Murano glass object is unique and holds special value.

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Does All Murano Glass have A Mark? How To Identify Real Murano Glass.

Does all Murano Glass have a mark? Not all, but many original Murano items have signatures, labels, or stamps. Among the items that do not have any marks many are still authentic. Seems confusing? Do not despair – we will teach you how to identify authentic Murano Glass, whether with marks or not.

Murano Glass Authenticity: Why It’s Important

Authentic Murano Glass on display in a store on Murano Island in Venice, Italy

Murano Glass is an art form that has its origins in ancient Egyptian, Byzantine, and Roman glassmaking methods. For centuries, people cherished Murano Glass for its vibrant colors, intricate designs, and advanced techniques. The local master artisans in Venice have made significant breakthroughs and introduced many innovations in the craftsmanship and artistic design of Murano Glass. This was possible because the island of Murano has been a hub of Venetian glass production since the 13th century. Working closely together, its artisans have honed their methods through generations, creating unique pieces which broke the mold of the craft.

Murano Glass masters always were the envy of all the other glass masters around the world. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, as they say, and today lots of Murano Glass counterfeits flood the market. These counterfeits endanger the craft of making original Murano Glass. Moreover, their sellers fool people into buying undesirable low-quality products. 

To help you buy real Murano Glass we are sharing our top identification tips. Once you understand what to look for, you will be able to distinguish original Murano Glass from the imitations flooding the market. By understanding the key characteristics and markers of real Murano glass, you can make informed decisions. It will help you to know that you are paying for the skill of Murano-based masters and for the artistry honed through generations of Italian glass artisans.

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Is Murano Glass Worth Collecting? Guide On Value And Buying.

Murano Art Glass In A Showroom In Venice, Italy

Is Murano Glass worth collecting? We say yes, without a doubt. Italian Murano Glass is special. It has unique and exquisite designs, which have attracted the attention of collectors and admirers for centuries. Its beauty and the intricate craftsmanship that goes into each piece set it apart from other artistic glassware. As such, Murano Glass is an art that is absolutely worth collecting.

To help you start collecting Murano glassware, we’ll tell you how to determine the value of a Murano Glass item, highlight the most various famous Murano Glass artists, and explain the modern trends in the art of Murano Glass. We will point you to galleries, museums, and collections featuring Murano Glass, and suggest the best places to purchase collector-quality Murano Glass art.

Collecting Is Understanding The Value

Collectible Murano Glass Goblet Sold By GlassOfVenice.com

Determining the value of a Murano Glass item can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, such as the piece’s age, rarity, and condition. To determine the value of a Murano Glass item, it’s important to first understand whether it is authentic Italian Murano Glass or a counterfeit produced elsewhere. Once you know that the piece is original and genuine, you need to understand if it is vintage or modern, Vintage pieces command much higher values.

Then examine the piece closely for any flaws or damage. Additionally, the signature of the artist can greatly impact the value of the piece. Some of the most sought-after signatures in Murano Glass include Archimede Seguso, Carlo Scarpa, and Lino Tagliapietra.

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Murano Glass From Italy: Its Value And History

Brief History Of Murano Glass

Murano glass from Italy has a long history and high value. Also known as Venetian glass, it is one of the world’s most beautiful and sought-after forms of glass art. Murano glass has a rich history that dates back to the 13th century. Amazingly, it continues to be produced in Murano, Italy, to this day. However, it was in the 16th and 17th centuries that Murano glass experienced a significant period of development and evolution. In this article, we will take a closer look at the special value of Murano glass and its history, with a specific focus on its development during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Murano glass has been around for more than 700 years. It has a rich history that is steeped in tradition and innovation. The glass-making industry in Murano began in the 13th century, and it quickly became a center for glass production in Europe. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the glass industry in Murano experienced a significant period of growth and innovation. During this time, Murano glassmakers developed new techniques and styles that are still used today.

Murano Glass enameled pitcher in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

How Murano Glass Evolved

One of the most significant developments in Murano glass during the 16th and 17th centuries was the invention of Cristallo glass. Cristallo glass was a clear, colorless glass that was highly sought after by the wealthy and the aristocracy. The invention of Cristallo glass was a major breakthrough for Murano glassmakers. From that point, it quickly became the most important product produced in Murano. This translucent colorless glassware was highly valued for its purity, transparency, and brilliance. It was used to make a variety of decorative objects, such as chandeliers, mirrors, vases, and even window panes.

Another important development in Murano glass during the 16th and 17th centuries was the introduction of enamel decoration. Enamel decoration involved applying a layer of enamel to the surface of the glass and then firing it in a kiln to create a durable and colorful decoration. Enamel decoration was a popular technique in the Middle East. Like other foreign innovations, it was brought to Murano by Venetian traders. Murano glassmakers quickly adopted this technique and began producing colorful, enameled glassware. Glass with enamel decoration became popular among their rich customers and is still highly valued by collectors.

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Is Murano Glass Worth The Money? 4 Reasons To Splurge.

Is Murano Glass Worth the Money? Murano Glass is an art form and as such it does increase in value over time. Collectors purchase Murano Glass, museums exhibit it, and lots of wealthy people use Murano Art Glass for home decor. The high price for Murano Glass often makes sense as each piece is a designer object that is handmade and unique.

Murano Glass works of art at Capellin Vennini exhibition in Murano, Italy

Here are the 4 reasons to pay premium prices for Murano Glass.

1. Murano Glass is a collectible item.

Murano Glass is an art form that has been in existence for at least 800 years. The master artisans of Murano started from humble beginnings. However, over the following hundreds of years, they continuously evolved their blown glass creativity, elevating it to art by the renaissance.

Many famous masters had their own workshops on Murano island. They came up with fancy forms, deep colors, and creative designs. Initially only the rich and famous could afford expensive and elegant Murano objects, which had the superior quality to any glass created elsewhere. Their clarity was mind-blowing and unheard of. Murano Glass chandeliers were translucent and reflected so much light. Venetian mirrors had not just unique ornamental designs but, more importantly, highly polished glass surfaces, allowing for clear reflections. 

However, in the twentieth century, the level of wealth of the general population grew. More and more middle-class people started traveling to Venice and got familiar with Murano and its glass art. Regular people were purchasing Murano Glass mirrors in Venice for their homes. or shopping for Murano Glass vases to display on the shelves.

Collectors of Murano Glass art come from all walks of life. However, they have in common an understanding of the special beauty of this art medium and the different styles and techniques used to create Murano Glass over the centuries. 

Multiple catalogs of Murano Glass and the works of specific glass artists exist. Many have been published in the twentieth century. The catalogs and special books allow collectors to learn more and gauge the artistic value and the rarity of a particular piece. Multiple auction houses, including Sotheby’s and Christie’s, feature Murano Glass. Especially popular are sculptures, figurines, chandeliers, and vases. Occasionally, auction houses will feature Murano jewelry along with precious jewelry.

Murano Glass Scarpa Exhibit
Carlo Scarpa Murano Glass exhibition in New York
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Murano Glass Is In Trouble. How Skyrocketing Gas Prices Are Affecting The Ancient Industry.

Murano Glass exists in Venice for over 1,000 years and survived multiple upheavals. However, this time it is in real danger of extinction.

Murano Glass artisans create glassware in a factory on Murano island
Murano Glass artisans create glassware in a factory on Murano island. Photo courtesy of GlassOfVenice.com

Murano Glass is one of the world’s oldest surviving industries. While glass-making was known to humans even as far back as ancient Egypt, the production of glass in Venice was established on the heels of the craft developed in ancient Rome.

Fleeing from the barbarians, the Romans who settled in Venice established glass-making furnaces and used local silica and soda to create their first glass vessels. After the industry got established on Murano island by the government decree in 1291, the local glass furnaces have been working full force despite the difficulties brought by wars, floods, and competition.

However, this time it’s different. The Murano Glass industry has encountered the perfect storm created by the horrible flood of Venice in 2019, the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the enormous increase in gas prices brought on by the war in Ukraine and the transformation to renewable energy. This gas problem may just be the last straw to break the back of the ancient industry.

Murano Glass furnaces are notoriously gas-hungry. They have to burn at 1500 degrees Celsius and cannot be turned on and off daily. It takes about a week to ignite a furnace and bring it to the stable high temperature required for glass-making. This process costs tens of thousands of euros. Therefore, the furnaces are normally only extinguished for one month a year, august, when the local glass artisans traditionally take a break amid the summer heat.

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Is Venetian Glass The Same As Murano Glass?

Murano Glass crafted by glass masters in Murano, Italy. Photo credit: GlassOfVenice.com

Is Venetian Glass the same as Murano Glass? Yes, and both mean handmade glassware made in Murano, an island in Venice, Italy. Many of GlassOfVenice customers ask whether Murano Glass and Venetian Glass are the same things. Why is there a confusion about the proper name? The explanation requires a brief excursion into the history of Murano Glass.

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