Glass Blowing Methods Used by Murano Glassmakers

Glass Blowing Methods Used by Murano Glassmakers

Glass blowing is a technique which has not undergone many changes since it was discovered. A glass artist, or maker, blows within a pipe, which is known as a blowpipe, in order to cast a glass item in the proper shape.

Enthusiasts and glass item collectors often refer to Murano glass makers as some of the best glass artists in the world due to the impressive look of their products. Murano glass is glass that is produced on Murano, a Venetian island.

Glassmakers from the region have dedicated themselves to the production of intricate and lavish glassware for hundreds of years.

Here are some of the methods that were used by Murano glassmakers in order to create such fine pieces.

Millefiori

This is a primeval method that was employed in Egypt between the 3rd and the 1st century BC. It involves utilizing thin segments of glass rods which are bonded together, blown, then cast to create geometric or floral shapes.

Cameo

This is a luxurious kind of glass art which engages the fusion of 2 layers of glass with different colors and then carving or engraving on it later to produce designs. The most well-known types of cameo glass are white dense glass figures set on a background with darker colors. This method was initially utilized by the Romans back in 30 BC.

Fenicio

The Fenicio method was utilized on the glass in 200 AD, and by the end of the 17th century, it was used by Murano glass artists. The method involves the artist covering the glowing glass threads with a skinny pontil, then combing these threads with the use of a hooked device while the item is still hot.

Afterward, the threads are combined into one segment of glass and the artist finally completes the ornamentation which resembles feathers.

Cristallo

Cristallo was created in 1450 in Venice by glass expert Angelo Borovier. It is done by bleaching the glass blend with manganese or other kinds of materials that will provide color.

Calcedonio

This method was created during the 15th century on the island of Murano but the formula for this kind of technique was nowhere to be found for a great number of years. The metals that are often used for this method are silver, copper, iron and other mineral oxides which are combined with opaline glass.

Filigrana

In the 1500s, the filigrana method was created. It involves utilizing glass rods that are melded together, blown then cast by the glassmaker. There are three designs which are made when using this particular method—the mezza filigrana, the reticello, and the retortoli.

Lattimo

This certain technique has been used by Italian glass artists since the 1500s. The primary purpose here is to create opaque white glass which would mimic fine white china, which was extremely popular during that period.

Ghiaccio

This method was well-known throughout the 1600s down to the 18th century. It involves plunging still-heated glass items in cold water. This results in a glass object which seems broken on its exterior and resembles cracked ice. Following the plunge, the cracks are then wrapped with another glass layer.

Incalmo

The glass that results from this method was created initially in the 1600s when Italian glass artists searched for a method which will let them create glass items with 2-3 varying colored parts of glass that appear as if it was one whole piece.

Numerous multicolored glass pieces are combined while the glass is still pliable enough to be formed as a single portion.

Avventurina

The method was made in Murano in the 1700s and its application lets a colored glass object to display the results of color changes once slanted. The glass is made by means of supplementing metallic parts like chrome or copper which are crystallized bit by bit out of the melted glass. It presents an effect that makes the glass object glitter.

Sommerso

The sommerso method was created during the 1930s in Murano and it lets glassmakers make items with a layered look where a colored layer of the glass is enclosed by another layer with a different color. It is made by utilizing glass layers cast by plunging the glass item into a molten glass of different color.

Bullicante

Bullicante is a method which is employed for the purpose of producing a steady design of consistently spaced air effervesces. These effervesces, or bubbles, can be small or big.

Solitary bubbles are moved forward into the melted glass with a spike which makes an orb look silvered while the glass cools down. This method was quite popular in the 1950s.

Summary

Murano glassmakers have created and made use of several excellent methods so they can present the most exquisite glass art to the world. The products that resulted from those methods are distinctive and they are often sought after by collectors and glass art enthusiasts.

Murano glass items in the form of centerpieces, vases and bowls make for beautiful ornaments in the home or office. Many glassmakers from all over the world have adopted these Murano techniques to create their own unique pieces; thus, the tradition of superb glass art continues.

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