Murano Traditional Glassworks Show The Beauty of Italian Craftsmanship – This Italian technique is known for its artistic glassworks, but it also has a long history of innovations in glassblowing and is Europe’s major glassmaking center. There’s no doubt that Italians are talented craftsmen and creative designers, their artistic and artisanal excellence is known all over the world. Italian Craftsmanship always was internationally celebrated!
One of the most relevant examples of Italian excellent craftsmanship is the Venetian Glass, created for over 1500 years and with production focused on the island of Murano since the 13th century. In the 15th century the Murano glassmakers not only created “cristallo”, an almost transparent glass, considered the finest glass in the world, but they also developed a white glass called “lattimo” which resembled porcelain. Later, Murano also became Europe’s finest mirror’s production center and the Murano traditional glassworks became a relic of the Italian craftsmanship.
Venetian glassmaking factories existed since the 8th century, but they started to be controlled by Murano in the beginning of 1291. Glass factories often caught fire, so removing them from the city and locating them in an island avoided major fire disasters for the populations. It is known that Venetian glassmakers protect secret recipes and methods for making glass, which are still treasured in Murano.
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In the 15th and 16th centuries, the demand for handmade glassworks increased a lot. The spread of glassmaking talent among Europe eventually lessened the importance of Venice and its Murano glassmakers, especially since Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat in 1797. However, Murano glassmaking began to recover in the 1920s and today the island is home to numerous glass factories and a few individual artists’ studios.
Murano’s Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum) in the Palazzo Giustinian showcases the history of glassmaking as well as glass masterpieces from Egyptian times to the present day. Today Murano is known for its artistic glassworks, but it also has a long history of innovations in glassblowing and is Europe’s major glassmaking center.