Arlecchino Fine Arts - Murano glass


Contemporary Murano glassmaking

 

 

 

Murano glassworking is not unique as an activity in the Lagoon enviroment, given Venice's renewed cultural and economic prestige. Nonetheless Murano is still an important industrial centre for the Lagoon, guaranteeing some thousands of jobs. Its entire production has its relevance on the internal market as well as in exports.

Murano glassworks, today as in the past, are generally quite small and often, in Murano we come across a phenomenon which was true in the days of Angelo Barovier or Giuseppe Briati, and that is the most prestigious names corresponding whith an establishement of more artisan where the workers are hand-picked. The "team" is fundamentally that of the "piazza" working arround the master and craftsman who, seated at his "scagno" or stool and assisted by one or more "servants" takes the glass at its malleable "pastoso". The high quality of the product, aboved and beyond purity of material and validity of design, lies essentially in the manual skill of the craftsman. Next to no rooms is left for machine working and here, the master and his assistants participate in every phase of the glass-modelling in such a way that, when they deliver a glass object to the annealinglher it is already in its definitive form. Murano glassmaking then, is on a level of "elite" craftsmanship, that is a manual production, in short series, of technically and formaly refined objects.

Of course the most able masters are asked to reproduce antique patterns which are classics by now, and they do it with success, carrying on a thousand-year-old technological patrimony.
The research for new technical solutions by the technicians of compositions and the master craftsmen goes on incessantly, while the latter with the designers (the masters themselves are sometimes the designers of their own products as they were in the past) are working on developing new types and new forms and decorations. It is a soda lime crystal glass particularly good for blowing very thin-walled glass vessels and for the fine workmanship in which the Murano craftsmen excel. Beside the pure crystals there are also coloured glasses some of which are firm favourites with the glassmakers, the "acquamarina" (acquamarine) for example, a glass with the blue-green colour of the sea, and the "rosso rubino" or ruby red, which is obtained by adding a gold solution to the glass mixture. Among the opacque glass pastes, chalcedony or "calcedonio" similar to zoned agate, and "aventurine" or "avventurina" which contains thick golden flakes in the body of the glass, are outstanding for their value and the difficulty of their realisation.

 

 

Murano glass

 

 

 

 

 

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Murano glass

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