Tag Archives: Murano glass how-to

How To Clean Murano Glass Chandelier – Expert Tips

Murano Glass Chandelier Made In 18th Century In A Palace In Venice

How to clean Murano Glass Chandelier? While it may seem difficult, Murano chandeliers are easier to clean than many other chandelier types which cannot be taken apart. There are several ways to clean Venetian chandeliers depending on whether you just purchased the chandelier and it arrived to you in parts, or if it’s already up on your ceiling.

Murano Glass chandeliers typically consist of multiple elements. This makes it easy to transport and store them when not in use. The best way to clean a Murano Glass Chandelier that is in use in your home or office is to disassemble it and clean the parts one by one. If it just arrived and you want to make sure it shines before hanging it up, then clean the individual parts first before assembling your chandelier.

If it’s too difficult to disassemble your hanging Murano chandelier then you can do some light cleaning by simply removing dust with microfiber cloth without disassembly. Do not use any chemicals or sprays to clean your Murano Glass Chandelier as this may damage the glass. Do not use a dishwasher to clean the separate elements. The hot water and mechanical movement of the machine will damage the fragile chandelier parts.

Here are the key steps to clean Murano Glass Chandelier that hangs in your home:

  1. Turn off the light and let the bulbs cool completely.
  2. Disassemble the chandelier by removing each glass element one by one. Remove each leaf, flower, shade, arm, and finally the central stem.
  3. Fill a large plastic tub with warm water. Add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. Mix together.
  4. Roll out a large towel on the counter or on a table.
  5. Take the first glass element and put it in the tub. Submerge it entirely in the water and vinegar solution you just made. After it is cleaned in the water-and-vinegar solution, dry it off with lint-free cloth and lay on the prepared towel.
  6. Repeat the process with each glass element of the chandelier.
  7. When you are done cleaning and drying all the elements, re-assemble the chandelier.

If you choose to disassemble your Murano Glass Chandelier for cleaning, be very careful. It is almost impossible to find replacements for any broken elements. Do not place the glass shades, stems, center column or decorative elements on the floor where it’s easy to step on them. Keep them on a tall enough table or counter to put them out of reach of pets and children.

However, if you purchased your chandelier from Glass Of Venice and happen to break an chandelier piece, do not despair. Contact us and we will assist you with ordering a spare part.

Murano Glass chandeliers make the biggest impression when they are translucent and clean. This allows the light to play off each element. If you clean your chandelier every several months, it will sparkle and reflect light in the best possible way.

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How Expensive Is Murano Glass? Why does it cost so much?

Murano Glass Making - How Expensive Is Murano Glass
Crafting a Murano Glass chandelier in a glass factory in Murano, Italy.

How expensive is Murano Glass? Authentic Murano Glass prices range from very affordable small jewelry that is under $30 to extremely expensive art glass pieces which run into thousands of dollars. The great news is that you do not need to break the bank to own a piece of genuine Murano Glass.

Why are some Murano Glass items more expensive than others?

Let’s explore what Murano Glass prices depend on. Here are the key factors that define the price:

  1. The difficulty of making the piece. This depends primarily on the Murano Glass technique used by the master, and on the master too. Some techniques involve multi-step processes, which require exceptional skill, precision, and take a long time to complete, making the piece very expensive.
  2. The cost and difficulty of obtaining source materials. Gold and silver leaf layering have high costs, thanks to the use of 24 karat gold and .925 sterling silver.
  3. The item type and color. This matters because Murano Glass colors are created using minerals fused into the hot glass. Murano Glass chandeliers, vases, and sculptures in red and black colors are usually more expensive than blue or transparent ones. Larger and more complex Murano Glass pieces, like large sculptures or chandeliers, cost more than smaller ones.

Millefiori Glass

The main factor that determines the price of a Murano Glass piece is workmanship. For example, Millefiori (translated from Italian as “a thousand flowers”) is a technique of creating special Murano glass canes with a pattern inside, then cutting them up into small cross-sections (“murrine”), then assembling the murrine into a certain pattern, and fusing them together in the furnace multiple times to achieve the famous mosaic glass, or Millefiori, look.

Millefiori Glass Making - How Expensive is Murano Glass

This is a painstaking process which requires exceptional skill, dexterity, and many hours of work even for a small piece. Hence, Millefiori Murano Glass typically commands higher prices. It is easy to distinguish fake Millefiori glass from real Murano-made.

Millefiori glass counterfeits are usually sloppily made in China, and lack the exquisiteness and brightness of colors that distinguish authentic Murano Glass. You can expect to pay $20 – $80 U.S. dollars for authentic Millefiori earrings and pendants, depending on the size and pattern, and over $100 U.S. dollars for Millefiori vases and sculptures.

Sommerso Glass

Sommerso Murano Glass Making - How Expensive is Murano Glass

Another expensive Murano Glass technique is Sommerso. It is crafted by carefully dipping glass of one color into molten glass of another color, and potentially creating more than 2 layers this way. This is a very difficult process which, when executed correctly, means that the layers of differently colored glass never mix. This creates distinct bands of colors within one art glass piece. Sommerso vases, bowls, and sculptures command relatively high prices, from around $300 for a relatively small 2-layer piece to over a thousand dollars for large multi-layer Sommerso art glass creations.

Tre Fuochi 24 karat enameled Murano Glassware

Murano Glass Tre Fuochi Wine Glasses

One more example of expensive glassware is gold-leaf and enamel-decorated Murano Glass. This is a design created using a rare technique called Tre Fuochi, which means “three flames” or “triple-firing” in Italian. This technique hails from the opulence of the eighteenth century Venice. At that time many wealthy Venetians and foreigners sought out exclusive tableware to show off their elite status at dinners and balls. Tre Fuochi glass requires lots of expensive 24 karat gold and painstaking manual work of painting gold leaf and enamels on the glassware.

The process is split into three stages. First, intricate gold leaf decoration is applied by hand to the colored glasses, goblets, carafes, bowls, or vases. Then the glassware goes into the special furnace. It gets heated up to the point when the gold permanently bonds with the glass.

After that, it’s time for another manual decorating session. This is when various enamels are handcrafted on the glass, usually in the form of flowers, leaves, or abstract elaborate decorative elements. Finally, the glassware goes into the furnace again to make the enamel fuse with the gold and the glass.

In the end, the final decorative touches are added by hand. The glassware then goes into the furnace for the third and last time to ensure complete fusion. Then the glass undergoes gradual cooling to ensure it won’t shatter from stress.

Needless to say, this extremely complex process is costly. It requires a lot of time, skill in both glass-blowing and hand-decorating and special furnace setup. Therefore, very few Murano-based artisans still create these pieces. You can expect to pay high prices of over $200 per piece for tre fuochi wine glasses, carafes, and other tableware.

How to pay less for Murano Glass

It is hard to save on Murano Glass, since much of the price is based on the amount of work and skill required to produce this exquisite glassware in Italy. However, in order to pay the best price, it helps to understand what determines the price. It is also important to shop around to see who offers the best prices for similar pieces. However, after accounting for the size, workmanship, and color, the price should still look reasonable. If it’s too low then it’s likely the piece is fake. Often the best prices are found in small stores on Murano island. Avoid the large and commercialized “factory” outlets, which are often not affiliated with any factory at all.

The next best option is on the internet. There you can find large importers and distributors who can keep the prices low due to the high volumes and lack of retail space. Our company, GlassOfVenice.com has been in business since 2008. We are the largest online distributor of authentic Murano Glass in the world. Unlike our competitors, we have exclusive contracts with many small family Murano Glass workshops. This allows us to offer the highest quality exclusive artistic Murano Glass at very reasonable prices.

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What To See And Do In Venice On A Rainy Day – Exclusive Travel Tips

VVenice Travel Tips For A Rainy Dayenice is so incredibly romantic under the rain. Yet it is also true that it can be more difficult to wander through its streets when bad weather ruins your plans. Rains are frequent in the Fall and Winter,  weather can turn quite cold from time to time, and aqua alta, or flood, can always happen, but the good thing is there are many attractions one can visit when the weather in Venice gets wet. Plus, there is nothing better than a good cup of Italian hot chocolate, or “cioccolata calda” to make bad weather much more bearable.

First of all, it is necessary to pack with rain in mind. When it rains, the streets get crowded by merchants selling knee-high boots and umbrellas, yet it is always best to travel with proper clothes (and enough pairs of shoes to have a dry one on hand). Most moving around in Venice is done by foot, so it is recommended to pack water-resistant clothes that keep you warm and comfortable. A strong umbrella is also a good choice, because it can get quite windy in the Venetian Lagoon during the colder times of the year (you will definitely notice it on board of water bus).

Aqua Alta is what Italians refer to when speaking of high water that floods the Saint Marc’s Square and neighboring alleys. To some visitors it may seem like a true Venetian adventure, but to locals it is a nightmare. If you want to experience this phenomenon and wonder through Saint Marc’s Square, you will find it is impossible to cross it by foot since the water can reach knee level. In these situation the city puts out special wooden runways that rise above the water, allowing people to walk across the piazza and reach the Basilica San Marco and the Doge’s Palace. Most businesses, however, will not be operating as usual since their owners will be busy getting the water out of their shops, trying to avoid the damage caused by it. Continue reading

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Murano Glass Making Techniques: Bullicante

The quality and tradition that characterize Murano’s finest glass furnaces have always been worthy of the highest appreciation. This prestige is due mostly to the glass masters’ hard work and dedication, which are the very core of Murano’s most famous trade. Glassmaking has been passed on from one generation to the next one, with constant innovations and timeless originality. The loyalty and respect with which this trade is treated is possibly the key to Murano’s success. Glass masters all over the island have always worked with endless vitality, and this creative vein is evident in every glass artwork that comes out of any furnace, with improved techniques and bewildering effects.

Always ahead of his time and anticipating any trend, Archimede Seguso was the perfect example of Murano’s best talent. Knowing how to interpret the world around him and always renewing and perfecting his production techniques, Seguso came up with one of the most astounding and marvelous of innovations, the bullicante technique.

Murano Glass Masters symbol - Peacock

The “bullicante” effect is amongst the most famous glass making techniques and it is seen quite often around the island of Murano. If you’ve had the fortune of strolling along the streets of Venice, you would have noticed beautiful glass pieces with small air bubbles trapped in the inside, possibly stopping to wonder how that seemingly impossible effect is achieved. This peculiar effect is obtained by placing a piece of molten glass inside a metallic mold with spikes, very much resembling a pineapple’s texture. These spikes cause small holes on the surface creating a pattern all around the glass piece. After it’s been left to cool down for a few moments, the whole piece is submerged in molten glass again. This second layer completely covers the first one. However, thanks to the thick consistency of glass, the holes previously impressed on the first layer are not covered, thus causing air to be trapped between both layers of glass. This process can be repeated several times, creating a pattern as complicated as the glass master wishes. This technique gives not only a sense of depth to the whole object, but also an incomparable decorative effect, famous for its originality.

Murano Glass Bullicante Vase from GlassOfVenice

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Murano Glass Making Techniques: Filigrana, Reticello, Zanfirico and More

The glass production in Venice represents one of the most important and influencing factors of the city’s economy, and it is no secret that the best glass furnaces reside in Murano. When walking through the streets of Murano, it is almost impossible to name and enumerate all the intricate and complex techniques used in the production of these artworks. And if we were to enter a furnace and listen to the craftsmen talk, we would probably simply hear confusing words such as filigrana, retortoli, reticello, or spirale, without even knowing which technique is which. Every technique, tool, shape and type of glass has its name, quite distinct, and part of the glass masters’ vocabulary since almost a thousand years ago.

The most ancient piece of evidence documenting the existence of glass artworks dates back to the year 982, and thanks to this document, in 1982 the world celebrated a thousand years of Venetian glass artworks. Many other historic documents testify the work of furnaces along the Rio dei Vetrai river in Murano, where one can still find the finest and oldest furnaces in the city. In order to keep the industry’s secrets and glass masters from leaving, the Republic of Venice came up with several acknowledgements and distinctions to those who would create the finest and most creative of glass works. The Republic also protected some of the most important discoveries and innovations of those times, such as the “filigrana a retortoli” and “filigrana a reticello” that became famous around the sixteenth century.
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How can I find a spare part for my Murano Glass item?

Continuing with our series of Murano Glass Q&A we’d like to cover a question we get often, which is whether we can help get a spare part for Murano Glass item. Most often this question concerns Murano glass watches and Venetian chandeliers.

Let us start by saying that generally Murano Glass masters do not create spare parts. In the case of Murano Glass chandeliers, it may be possible to obtain a spare part only from the glass factory where you purchased your chandelier. For this reason as well as for quality and service assurance, if you do go to Venice and Murano and decide to purchase a chandelier there, we highly recommend purchasing only from a reputable factory on Murano. Please remember to make a note of the factory’s name, the owners/salesperson’s names and contact information, and keep this info along with your proof of purchase in a safe place in case a delivery fails, the chandelier arrives damaged or not as expected, or you need a spare part years down the road. Alternatively, you can purchase one of our Venetian chandeliers and we will work with the glass makers to provide the required spare part for you should you need it later on.

As for Murano Glass watches, the most sought-after parts are the millefiori-decorated crystal and the leather strap or the bangle. Unfortunately, it is not possible to replace the millefiori crystal, if yours broke the only option is to buy a new watch. Same goes for the bangle bracelet. The strap, however, can be replaced, and we’ll be happy to look into the strap replacement requests for our customers.

To get a quality piece of artistic Murano Glass, please see our wide selection of authentic Murano Glass at www.GlassOfVenice.com

Follow us on Twitter @GlassOfVenice and Visit us on Facebook to stay up to date on our promotions and updates.

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Watch Our New Murano Glass and Venice Video

We travel to Venice often and every time we visit this magical city we are amazed by its beauty, harmony, and the feeling of decadence that lives in its atmosphere. Our trips are always busy, filled with the visits of Glassworks, meetings with the glass artists and designers, tireless search for new products and fashion trends, and occasional stops to admire all the beauty around us. It is during these stops that we have often thought about a way to bring our clients not just the beautiful glass products created on Murano, but also the feeling of Venice’s fleeting beauty and the whole experience that is Murano Glass.

To achieve this we took our photographers and videographers along on one of our trips, who shot amazing footage of everything we experience when we visit Venice and Murano. We then spent weeks selecting the best moments and merging them together to make a film about Murano Glass like no other. Our unique film lets our clients and Murano Glass fans to experience Murano Glass in its entirety – from the surreal air of Venice, where this art was born, to the burning furnaces of the Glass Masters where it’s being created now, just like centuries ago.
We hope you enjoy this film and come to appreciate Murano Glass in a new way!

To get your own piece of artistic Murano Glass, please see our wide selection of authentic Murano Glass at www.GlassOfVenice.com

Follow us on Twitter @GlassOfVenice to stay up to date on our promotions and updates.

Get our Twitter updates via SMS by texting “follow GlassOfVenice” to 40404 in the United States.

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I have a beautiful glass item. Is it Murano glass?

As with many works of art, it is not always easy to determine whether a particular glass item is authentic Murano glass, and it is even harder to attribute it to a particular master. Over the centuries, there were so many trends and techniques in Murano glass that the spectrum of possibilities of what a genuine Murano glass item may look like is very wide. From imitations of classical antiquity to enameled glass, glass made to look like chalcedony or other semi-precious stones, glass with filigree and engravings, Murano masters made miracles out of glass for 800 years. These days, one can only come across Murano glassware from the Middle Ages in museums such as the famous Glass Museum in Murano. However, Murano glass from more recent times such as 19th and 20th century, often made by famous masters, can often be found in ordinary people’s possessions.

If you come across an item that you think may be Murano glass, first of all look for any labels, etchings, stamps or signs stating the origin of the item or name of the glass-making company. If you find any, and it contains names like Salviati, Seguso, Barovier, Toso, Moretti, Mandruzzato, Venini, Zanetti, Nason, Signoretto, Barbini, Bianconi, Cenedese or words like “Vetro Murano”, “Vetreria Artistica….Murano”, “Maestri Vetrai Murano” or similar, you are probably holding a genuine Murano glass article. If there are no labels or etchings, identification is more complicated and has to be made on the basis of the look and glassmaking technique alone. The best approach in this case is to take several high quality photos of your article from various viewpoints and send them to experts for identification and attribution. GlassOfVenice.com has been dealing with Murano glass for many years and can help you with such requests for free.

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