Murano Glass

Murano glassmaking is an ancient craft that traces its roots back to the 8th century. The original settlers of the Venetian Lagoon were Romans who fled barbarian invasions, and after the Venetian community was established and the government set up, the settlers of the Lagoon attempted to rediscover the ancient Roman craft of glassmaking. Glassmaking quickly took off in Venice because of the exceptional quality of the local sand, a main component of glass.

Glass is a solid matter which, in its raw state, is made of silica (sand), soda, lime and potassium melted together in a furnace at a temperature of 1,500 degrees Celsius (~2,700 degrees Fahrenheit), to become a flexible material. Then, in the simplest scenario, the glassmaker removes this substance from the furnace with the help of a pipe, and shapes it using various specialized instruments. These instruments such as pliers, scissors and wooden shovels, have changed little since antiquity. "Glass-blowing" refers to a method of blowing into the pipe to fill the glass object with air and give it a shape.

The magnificent appearance and coloring of Murano glass is achieved by adding gold or silver leaf to the glass mixture and/or adding minerals such as zinc for white, cobalt for blue, manganese for violet, and so on. Once the object is finished, it is placed in a cooling furnace, called "tempera", to cool down slowly. This process is called annealing, or ensuring that glass doesn't break due internal tensions or because of extreme variations in temperature.