The Art of Murano
Perhaps the best glass art in the world is made by Murano. Murano is an island just off Venice that has been practicing the art of glassware for centuries. The glassmakers of Murano have been at the forefront of glass design and art and have developed their own technologies that have become standard throughout the world.
These new developments and technologies we now all know as forms of glassware, such as: enamelled glass, crystalline glass, multicoloured glass, golden glass, milk glass and copy gemstones made out of glass. Modern Murano glass artists still use these century old techniques to fashion all types of art-ware that is contemporary such as figurines, to regal chandeliers and everything in between.
Murano is home to many glass factories and a few of the best individual glass artists in the world that make original sculptures. There is also a wonderful glass museum that shows Murano’s history and other great influences on glassware such as Egyptian glass.
Working with Glass
Glass is a fragile component to work with, so every artist has to master the technique how to work with the material. Stained glass has been around for over a thousand years, and was fitted into panels in churches, mosques and leading architectural buildings. Stained glass also includes leaded objects, that were made famous by the Tiffany studio in the mid-1900’s.
Ways of Using Stained Glass
To work with stained glass is particularly difficult, and it needs both art and design to bring the whole thing together. Stained glass is made from adding salts to the base material, which is then crafted by the artists into stained glass pieces to that can be arranged to form patterns.
Obviously Murano is not the only place that makes stained glassware, there are many producers around the world, some focusing purely on commercial work, and others more decorative pieces. Some of the finest glassware comes from Italy, USA and the UK, however factories in Germany, Russia and France also make quality glassware. These countries produce hand-blown and crown glass or rolled glass. Contemporary stained glass makers have large investment behind them and so have in depth resources to create the finest glassware.
To keep up what is new and groundbreaking in the glass industry the best exhibition to visit is called Glasstress which is held during the Venice Biennale of Arts. This exciting exhibition is held every two years and displays some of the finest glass art in the world today. It also presents new upcoming trends in glassware such as stained blown art and other contemporary techniques.
There are symposiums and conferences during the exhibition where manufacturers, artists and designers all discuss new techniques and collaboration prospects. The exhibition is a perfect way to see who is currently in vogue and what designs and techniques they are using. It is certain that Murano has been at the forefront of glass production, design and art for centuries, and it is a leading light to show what is new is the world of glassware. Italian glass has long been the envy of the world, due to its quality and innovative design, and Murano is right at the centre of it all.