Murano Glass processing
Artistic blown glass and lampworking
Murano glass is the most precious glass made in Italy.
All our items are made according to traditional techniques that have been designed and developed over the course of ten centuries of Murano glassmaking history. A thousand years have passed since 982 AD, the year in which the oldest manuscript relating to the Venetian glass-making activities was written. This is kept in the State Archives of Venice.
We use various types of glass processing methods for our products.
The blowing technique is “by mouth” and the various applications (edging, coloured threads, flowers, various decorations) are formed during the molten stage.
They are performed during the processing of the item. The modelling is carried out via the use of a “blowpipe”, “jacks” (a form of pliers) and “shears” (scissors), which, for centuries, have remained almost unchanged in both form and use.
The only compromise in terms of modern technology is the use of steel.
Pure gold and silver are inserted during the molten stage. These can be overlaid, that is, covered with molten glass, thus giving a submerged effect. This is especially true for silver, as it does not oxidise.
We often use “Balloton” and “Rigadin” techniques in our creations. With the first, a cross-relief effect, similar to a grid pattern is created on the surface of the item. With the second, a ribbed effect which may be either straight or spiral (“twisted Rigadin”) is obtained, again on the surface of the item. Ceretain techniques produce particular refractions of light suitable for the creation of pendants for chandeliers.
We are particularly experienced in “Filigree”, “Murrine Glass” and “Caneworked glass” processes.
The complex process of blown “Filigree” involves the use of glass rods with threads that are straight and coloured or twisted.
One particular such filigree is the “zanfirico” taken from the name of the Venetian antique dealer, Antonio Sanquirico who, in the nineteenth century, commissioned copies of ancient glass made with these rods, that have twisted spiral thread within them.
Once these particular glass rods are produced (also called “cane pulling”), they are placed next to each other on a refractory plate called the “piera” (stone). They are then heated in the furnace until they are joined together.
Once fused, the rods are retrieved with a blowpipe and then shaped into various objects (glasses, vases, cups etc.).
Finally, a very special technique for true glass lovers, is that of “Redexèlo” in which two “piere”, holding canes with an inner white thread, are turned in opposite directions. They are then crossed and combined at the molten stage during processing.
Given the extreme technical diligence required, it is only performed on special request.
The working process is similar for “Murrine Glass” and “Caneworked glass.” The difference is that in “Murrine Glass” the “piera” is made up of glass pieces arranged like the tiles of a mosaic and then combined at the molten stage like the rods in the filigree process.
These pieces can be of various shapes and colours and fashioned in an ad hoc manner, so that once welded, they create special motifs on the finished piece.
The “Millefiori” murrine glass is obtained by combining glass cane sections with polychrome central motifs. In the “Caneworking” technique, the tiles are replaced by pieces of glass rod or coloured glass ribbons which, because they are always juxtaposed with one another, can create striking colour combinations.
These two types of processing conform more closely to modern sensitivities and tastes. They allow for the creation of items for house decoration, with many different colour effects.
The art of “Supialume” has its roots in the sixteenth century.
Now the old oil lamp has been replaced by a gas and oxygen blowpipe, nevertheless, the techniques remain the same.
We use this process to create glass beads for unique Murano glass jewellery.
We also produce coloured, glazed flowers for use in the production of gifts and for decorating chandeliers and home furnishings.
"GOTI DE FORNASE" GLASSES
The particular chromatic effects of these glasses are obtained with a hot coloring practiced in Murano since the Thirties.
The procedure is as follows. On the “bronzìn”, a perfectly smooth metal plate so called because it was formerly made of bronze, glass flakes are placed in various colors.
The “master” or his assistant “servant” takes from the oven “lever” with a blowpipe the quantity of glass needed to blow the glass. With this glass the shards of glass are collected on the “bronzìn” which melt and stick to the hot surface.
The movement of passing the vitreous mass over the bronzino is called “marmorizzàr”, a memory of when a marble slab was used instead of the “bronzìn”.
By varying the diameter and the colors of the glass splinters, various decorative motifs are obtained, often expanding they take on the appearance of spots of color and this technique is called “macie” in jargon.
All this is enriched by the presence of “millefiori murrine” also these hot additions.
After opening the mouth of the glass, the master hits the hot walls of the glass with the head of the “bag”, creating “pàche” hollows that move the line of the “goto” as the glass comes in the furnace.
With these techniques wisely used by the master each piece becomes unique in shape and variety of colors.