Murano Glass Throwing out Techniques

“Glass-blowing” is a method which has not changed a lot since its technology. In the simplest words it involves a glassmaker throwing out inside the water pipe in order to shape a glass object in the appropriate shape. What is significant in the look of products originating from Murano glassworks is that their magnificent appearance sandton glass and colours are achieved due to special addition to the glass mixture. For example, adding gold or silver foil to the glass mixture will produce beautifully shimmering vases or bowls. When a glassmaker adds zinc, the glass will appear to be white; when adding cobalt, the product will have a sea deep blue tone; when mixing in manganese, the item will be violet. After the product is finished, a glassmaker places it in an cooker called “tempera” in order to cool it down.

Below, you will find a short description of various techniques searched by glassmakers on Murano Island.

AVVENTURINA

The technique was discovered in Murano in the early 17th century and its application allows a tinted glass item to show the effect of colour change when tilted. The legend says that avventurina glass was invented unintentionally when cooper filling was spilled by a Murano glassmaker into the glass he was working on. The glass is achieved through adding titanium components such as cooper or chrome which are slowly crystallized out of the molten glass. It makes the glass object beautifully glittering. The word avventurina comes from the Italian word “ventura” which means fortune or chance.

BULLICANTE

Bubbles in the glass occur either because this is an intent of a glassmaker or as an accident due to badly used technique or a glassmaker not having enough experience in this field. Hand-made products generally have a few bubbles in it. Bullicate is a technique which is used in combination with intent to build a regular pattern of evenly spread out air bubbles. The bubbles can be larger or smaller. Single bubbles are pushed into molten glass with a spike helping to make a sphere looks silvered when the glass cools. It was widely employed in the 1950s.

CHALCEDONY (CALCEDONIO)

The technique was invented in the 15th century on the Murano Island however just after the formula for this kind of glass was lost for many years. The main characteristic of the calcedonio glass is visibility of polychromatic veins which run through the dark-coloured glass. As a result, by mixing various metal compounds in a certain fashion, the design imitating natural gallstones, such as chalcedony, agate or malachite is achieved. The standard metals used in this technique are silver and mineral oxides, such as birdwatcher, iron, or manganese, melted with opaline glass.

CAMEO

Cameo glass is a unique luxury form of glass art. It involves fusing two layers of different colour glass and later etching and carving the thing to create a design. The most famous forms of cameo glass present white opaque glass figures and motifs on a dark tinted background. Some of the objects may also be carved in a manner to reveal portions of the underlying colours. This technique was first searched by ancient Romans in 30BC, and was particularly popular among British artists in early the twentieth century.

CRISTALLO

Cristallo, invented in 1450 in Venice by a master of glass, Angelo Borovier, is famous for being first truly colorless glass, totally clear, without any yellow or greenish color originating from iron oxide impurities. It is achieved by bleaching glass mixture with help of manganese or other de-colorants.

FENICIO

Fenicio was applied to glass even in the 200s AD, and at the end of the 17th century it was implemented by Murano glassmakers. It involves a glassworker to wrap the incandescent glass strings with a thin pontil and to clean the strings with a addicted tool when the object is still hot. After the strings are combined into a single little bit of glass, the glassmaker achieves decoration which reminds festoons or feathers.

FILIGRANA

The filigrana technique was invented in the 1500s. Its final products are pieces which have an opaque white or tinted core. The technique involves using glass rods fused together, then blown and molded by the glassmaker. There are three patterns which are produced when utilizing the filigrana technique. These are: mezza filigrana (single filament rods), reticello (diamond pattern where the strings cross and form a grid which is created as a result of turning two halves of a glass piece in opposite directions during heating) and retortoli (two filaments sprained into a control shape and not crossing).

GHIACCIO (ICE GLASS)

Popular in the 16th to 18th century, the technique involves immersing still hot glass object in cold water. It leads to creation of a glass item which appears chipped on its surface, similar to crocked ice. After immersion in cold water, the crackles are covered with another layer of glass.

INCALMO

Incalmo glass was produced for the first time in the 16th century when Italian glassmakers looked for a technique that would allow them to make glass objects with two or three different tinted sections of glass looking that it was one piece. Many different tinted glass pieces are fused together when the glass is still flexible to form a single piece.

LATTIMO (MILK GLASS)

Italian glassmakers have been using this technique since the 15th century. The main objective was to produce opaque white glass that would act like popular that period fine china.

MILLEFIORI

This is the ancient technique which used for the first time in Egypt between the 1 / 3 and 1st century BC and is still used by Murano glassmakers. It involves using thin sections of glass rods which are fused together, blown and then formed to create shapes, often in floral or geometric designs.

SOMMERSO

Invented in 1930s in Murano, the Sommerso technique allows to create objects with a layered appearance where on tinted layer of glass is covered by another one of different colour. Such an effect is manufactured by using layers of glass formed by dipping the glass object into molten glass of another colour.

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