Scusi, Venice the Next Vaporetto to Murano?

Murano Glass is a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano. Most Murano glass art is made using the lamp working technique, where the glass is made from silica, which becomes liquid at high temperatures. As the glass passes from a liquid to a solid state, there is an interval wherein the glass is soft before it hardens completely, allowing the artisan to shape the material.

For colour techniques, aquamarine is created through the use of copper and cobalt compounds, whereas ruby red uses a gold solution as a colouring agent. The technique begins with the layering of coloured liquid glass, which is then stretched into long rods called canes (aka cane-working). When cold, these canes are then sliced in cross-section, which reveals the layered pattern.

The better-known term “millefiori” is a style of murrine that is defined by each layer of molten colour being molded into a star, then cooled and layered again. When sliced, this type of murrine has the appearance of many flowers, thus mille-fiori (thousand-flowers).

Mural is from Venice and Murano Glass and Mosaic Co. “The Last Supper” (panel) ca. 1880 (glass, lead, iron & mortar).

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