Murano Glass History

Murano Jewellery Making

Let’s Set the Scene

With Australian eyes it is difficult to imagine Murano Glass History goes back thousands of years but let’s try.

The ancient city of Venice was wealthy, cultured and progressive.

Influenced and enriched by the entire known world as the main trade route from Europe to the Far East. Venice was the epicenter of fashion, arts and lifestyle.

In this climate and wealth the arts flourished with artisans making the most exquisite fabrics, bronzes, jewellery, chandeliers and mirrors. Within boutique cottage industry technique was a closely guarded secret.

Craftsmen require a lifetime to learn their trade. Secrets are then passed to family members who follow in the family trade.

Indeed Venice dominated its rivals with technique and color but the city had its down side. The plague visited Venice repeatedly and it was impossible to control with such a transient population.

Frequent fires, often originating in the studio of a Glass maker were common. The absence of roads and presence of canals & narrow alleys complicated fire management.

Murano Glass History

Whilst the origin of glass in Venice is unclear, in 1291 all glass furnaces were moved to the island of Murano.

The official reason was to protect the ancient city from fire but it serves the glass makers to be isolated. Remote location helps to protect the secrets of glass making. Venice dominated the glass world unchallenged from 1400 to 1700 and today is still most respected and admired.

The vast imagination of the Venetian artisan leads the industry, leaving its competitors floundering in their wake. By the time the Venetian product is copied it has already climaxed and moves towards something new. In any case the cost of the genuine article is not so unreasonable…..any one in the civilized world could afford a piece of genuine Murano Glass Jewellery without guilt.

Murano Bead Making

Glass is first made into canes in the various Murano Colors. Then it is sold to the artisan to be fashioned into beads, sculpture or lighting.

The Bead Maker melts the glass onto a turning piece of copper wire, making a seed of glass.

This small seed of glass is rolled onto Gold or Silver Leaf. Then covered with various colored glass to achieve a luminous metallic effect.

If an opaque color is selected Gold or Silver Leaf is not necessary.

The bead is crafted into shape by using a clamp in the form needed to mould the molten glass.

Copper wire is snipped off with pliers and left overnight in an acid vat. This will dissolve away the copper leaving a hole where the copper had been. The hole where the copper had been is used for threading the beads together.

Whilst there are many large family owned businesses that flourish, the boutique businesses are the best for price and imagination.

Heavy doors on the homes on the island of Murano disguise the labor intensive glass making that goes on within.

Insignia sources out beautiful Jewellery from boutique business’s and grooms the design to suit the taste of the Australian market.

Fashion colors, affordable price and Gift Boxes delight ladies who can match their out fit in Italian style.

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