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

What is Murano Glass
What is Murano Glass?

Murano Glass is made on the island of Murano, located within the city of Venice in Northern Italy. 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.

Therefore, Murano Glass is defined as being made in a special place using special techniques. It 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.

How is Murano Glass different from any other glass?

Once the glass mixture is prepared using the ingredients above, very thin layers of real 24K gold or sterling silver are often added to it (this is known as gold or silver leaf), along with various minerals to give glass its vibrant colors and designs. The resulting liquid glass mixture is then mouth-blown and/or hand-shaped by master glassmakers in a series of elaborate steps using special techniques such as Millefiori, Sommerso, Reticello, Filligrana, Bullicante, and many others.

For example, in Avventurina technique the master uses copper shavings to add Aventurine mineral-like sparkles to the glass piece. In Millefiori technique the artisans use small slices of special glass canes with a design inside and fuse them together for a quilt-like appearance. In Bullicante regular bubbles are introduced into the glass mixture. These and other techniques create specific recognizable looks that are characteristic of Murano Glass.

Colors are achieved only by using minerals, so unlike painted colors, they never fade. For example, zinc is added for white color, cobalt for blue, manganese for violet, gold for red.

Murano Glass has long history. Today it is an art form.

Murano’s special glassblowing process is over a thousand years old. It was re-discovered by the local artisans when they found ancient Roman glassware at the end of the first millennium. The craft of Murano glass-making has eventually become one of the main industries in the mighty Venetian Republic. As such, it has continuously evolved over the centuries, reaching global fame and turning into the art form we know today.

However, to this day the master glass-makers on Murano use 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 have hanged 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 considered to be 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 produced today 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. Diane

    I love the Murano glass beads and jewelry. Even the Venetian glass is beautiful.
    I have a few pieces and wear them with pride.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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