Murano Glass has been made on the Venitian island of Murano since the 7th century, with today’s artisans still employing the same centuries old techniques.
Such was the fame and prestige of the early glassmasters, they were above the law – allowed to wear swords, stay immune from prosecution and all manner of other privileges. The reverse side of this elitism was glassmakers were not allowed to leave the Republic or share their professional secrets, under threat of the death penalty.
In the 18th century Murano glassmakers added Chandeliers to their product range. The opulence of these magnificent chandeliers makes their Venetian masterpieces widely appreciated until this day.
Sadly the Murano glass industry is shrinking. Professional glassmakers in Murano decreased from about 6,000 in 1990, to less than 1,000 today. This does not mean the skills are lost or no longer appreciated. It simply reflects technology and market changes.
Today’s Murano glassmakers still have their knowledge and skills handed down through the centuries – materials, colours, chemicals, techniques and tools – to make their work recognisable to the connoisseur of fine art.
There is an old Murano saying “good tools are nice, but good hands are better”.
If you own an original piece of Murano jewellery – treasure it.