Murano Glass Dictionary - Glass Techniques Expert Guide
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Murano Glass Techniques Dictionary

Summary of the most famous techniques and art glass terminology used in Murano Island by master glasses since centuries.
This dictionary is meant to help you and provide insight into the Murano glass world.

Clear glass, created for the first time in the mid-fifteenth century by Angelo Barovier. Due to the presence of sodium, the Venetian glass is particularly suitable to complex manual work performed by the glass master. This is the reason why the Venetian glass is considered to be superior for realising handmade art glass, differently than Bohemian crystal based on potassium and English glass based on lead.

This word refers to an object made by two layers of glass normally of two different colours. Particularly suited for cold carving.

Sophisticated decorative technique realised at high temperatures conditions. It was invented in Murano in the first half of the sixteenth century. The complex technique of the blown “filigrana” implies the use of crystal rods. These rods (similar to pencils) are put next to each other on a refractory plate, then heated into the furnace till they melt tohether. The normal blowing technique follows this step in order to give a shape to the various objects (vases, cups etc.). This technique requires considerable technical skill and high artistic taste.

Glass coated with a thin coloured glass layers. This technique was largely used in the twentieth century, as an alternative to “Vetro Double”.

This technique implies to use solid glass rods heated by a gas candle flame. The rods are then modelled in order to realise figurines, small objects, glass pearls. The term “Candle” became popular in the ancient times because this technique was involving a flame generated by the oil lamp.

It represents the classical technique implied to create a hollow object. The blowing technique is one of the most revolutionary inventions in this domain. Most probably it took place back in the first century, possibly in Syria. This technique found several applications in Roman, Islamic and Venetian glasses.

Murano technique still currently used and belonging to Roman times. It consists in blowing a piece of glass in a mould made by three distinctive parts. These parts are made in cherry wood.

It consists in a sort of “hot” mosaic (realised at high temperature). It is made by pieces of glass, often with ad hoc shape, fused with other pieces, so that they could be merged together. A alternative of the murrina is the “millefiori”. Decorative technique, invented by the Romans and implemented in Murano at the beginning of the eighth and the nineteenth century by Salviati and Vincenzo Moretti.

It is similar to the murrine technique. Instead of tiny single pieces of glass merged together, in this case glass rods are used. Different combinations of coloured rods are implemented and subsequently melted together and blown in order to obtain a vase or an object.

This technique refers to the effect of cracked glass obtained by immerging hot glass in cold water.

This wording refers to a special effect which makes the glass showing a mat surface. The technique was widely used in the nineteenth century in France.

The sommerso technique consists in overlaying different colourful glass layers on top of each other with suggestive chromatic effects.

Treatment of the glass which implies hitting the surface when the artwork cooled down. This is a technique used in particular by the Venini glassworks.

This technique implies to spread hydrofluoric acid on the glass surgace in order to provide a “translucent” effect to the artwork.

The chemical composition of this glass is based on silicon dioxide, sodium carbonate and other minor minerals. However, the main feature of Venetian glass is that it remains in fluid conditions for a relatively long time before requiring to be introduced into the furnance again. This allows complex hand works, glass melting and cuts typical of the Venetian glass tradition.