What is Murano Glass? What is the difference between Murano Glass and any other glass?

What is Murano Glass
What is Murano Glass? Is it glass made in a special place? Or made using special techniques? It is actually both. Murano glass is glass in a chemical sense of the word. However, Murano glass is as different from, say, the glass in your window panes, as Rembrandt paintings are different from an empty canvas. Murano glass is created only on the island of Murano, located within the borders of the city of Venice in Northern Italy.

Murano’s special glassblowing process is over a thousand years old, having been re-discovered by the local artisans from the ancient Roman glassware at the end of the first millennium and continuously developed and enhanced upon ever since. This glass is made from silica, soda, lime and potassium melted together in a special furnace at a temperature of 1500°C to reach a liquid state. Very thin layers of real gold or sterling silver are often added to the glass mixture (also known as gold or silver leaf), along with various minerals to give glass its vibrant colors and designs. For example, copper is used for Avventurina mineral-like sparkles, zinc is added for white color, cobalt for blue, manganese for violet, gold for red. The resulting liquid glass mixture is then mouth-blown and/or hand-crafted by master glassmakers in a series of elaborate steps using special techniques such as Millefiori, Sommerso, Reticello, Filligrana, Bullicante, and many others.

The master glass-maker uses only basic tools to shape, polish, and perfect the glass. Most of these tools have been developed in the Middle Ages and both the tools and the glass-blowing process changed little since then. This method of glass-making results in unique creations with rich coloring and beautiful, sometimes surreal, patterns and shapes, which are real artworks. For this reason, high-end Murano Glass is called art glass, or the glass made not merely by craftsmen, but by artists of glassmaking, called maestros in Italian. Even though beautiful glassware and crystal has also been created in other places around the world, none of the glassware still being produced has such a rich history and so much artistic value as Murano glass.


15 thoughts on “What is Murano Glass? What is the difference between Murano Glass and any other glass?

  1. chris brown

    Was wondering if your company also offers calendars with pictures of some of your art glass and if so, do you have one for 2019, and how much do they cost?Would like to get one for my daughter who recently “discovered” your Murano candles.

  2. Gerri Pisciotta

    I have been told every piece of Murano glass has an identification mark somewhere on it–I have purchased of lot of pieces I was told are Murano, but none of them has an insignia anywhere. Is there a definite marking and what does it look like?

    1. GlassOfVenice Post author

      Hi Gerri,
      Actually what you have been told is incorrect. In short, there is no law in Venice that requires Murano artisans to mark or sign their Murano Glass pieces in a certain way, hence many artisans do not mark or sign their work. We have recently authored and published an article that answers this exact question in detail here is the link: http://www.ebay.com/gds/Recognizing-AUTHENTIC-MURANO-GLASS-Fact-and-Fiction-/10000000210870478/g.html
      We hope this helps

  3. Joyce Smart

    I recently visited Venice and had the opportunity of getting acquainted with Murano glass jewelry. I bought a few pieces for myself and my daughter and ordered some more today. These pieces of jewelry are certainly a work of art. I cannot wait until my pieces arrive!

  4. Celeste

    Good Morning,

    My Aunt gave me 2 Murano glass bracelets, one white with flowers and the other brown or caramel in color with flowers. I need to get them repaired. I live near Chicago. Is there a place I can take/ send them to get repaired?

    Thank you for your help,
    Celeste Szmurlo

  5. Ann Russell

    Over 20 years ago I bought my late husband 5 Marino Italia Glass Fish Blue Green on the label is V.Nason & C.
    Please will you send me information on these.It is such along time since i bought them.Someone has offered to buy them but I dont know if I can part with them.
    I will wait your reply. Ann Russell.

    1. GlassOfVenice Post author

      Hi Ann,
      Vincenzo Nason is a famous master who worked on Murano for Venini company and then opened his own glass workshop on Murano island in 1967. In 1989 his company was renamed to V. Nason & C, and it closed in early 2000’s. The company is famous primarily for its range of ‘Avventurina’ Murano Glass in black color with copper aventurine sparkles. V. Nason & C also created sculptures of animals and birds and were masters in opaline glass.

  6. Patti

    During her travels, my sister brought me a beautiful Hand Made Murano glass pendant and button earrings. They are absolutely lovely, and I would love to add to my Murano collection some day!


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