In Focus

Capture Light with Venetian Glass Decor

Have you ever wondered what gives Venetian glass its distinctive luminescence?  The particular quality of Venice's light is reflected in its artistic traditions and embodied in its glass.  Read on to learn more about the history and process behind this elegant art.  

The island of Murano, located within Venice in Northern Italy, became Europe's center of glass making in the 15th and 16th centuries. However, the city's artisans were revered as innovators in the medium for over 1500 years.  They'd invented lattimo—a white-colored glass that resembles porcelain—and cristallo—which was almost transparent, and considered the finest glass in the world. These developments were made possible through material and technical innovation. 

Venetian Elephant

The glass is made from silica, soda, lime and potassium melted together in a furnace, or calchera. Temperatures in the furnace reach 1500°C, bringing the combined materials to a liquid state. Gold or silver foil are often added to the glass mixture, along with minerals such as copper for sparkles, cobalt to create blue, zinc for white and manganese for violet.

The mixture is then mouth-blown and hand-crafted by master glassmakers using basic tools, many of which were developed in the Middle Ages and have changed little since then. 

Venetian Ninphea Bowl / Venetian Fire Bowl 

This method of glassmaking results in incomparable creations with rich coloring forming intricate, exquisite shapes and patterns. Even though beautiful glassware has been created in other places around the world, none of it has such a rich aesthetic history as Murano glass.

Let the light in. View our assortment of Venetian glass decor: