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History of Murano Jewelry
Murano Glass Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet -Venetian Glass - Murano Glass
Venetian Glass - Murano Glass
In the waters off the coast of Venice, Italy, lays the historic island of Murano. Against the backdrop of the Adriatic Sea, Murano lives to tell a story dating back to the 9th century. Then, nearly 1200 years ago, the earliest form of glass making took shape in opaque bottles. The craft grew swiftly as Venice became a major trading port over the next hundred years. Soon, Venetian glass makers began to trade multicolored beads with neighboring Asian, Muslim, and African merchants. Later products produced took the form of glasses, vases, and costume jewelry.

The art of glass making moved to Murano in 1291, as the Venetian government feared that the glass blowing furnaces could lead to fire and destruction among the predominately wood buildings on the island of Venice. At the same time, the Doges and Venetian governors came to realize the financial significance of the exclusive and prestigious art of glass blowing. Murano's glassmakers were soon the island's most prominent citizens. The Doge passed a law to prevent glassblowers from practicing their art in other countries or even to leave Murano. Murano glassmakers held a monopoly on exclusive glassmaking for centuries, developing and refining many technologies such as crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. The glass blowers vowed an oath of secrecy, punishable by severe penalty for disclosing the glass blowing process to those outside of the Murano community.

Venice, Venetian Glass - Murano GlassDuring the Renaissance, the Venetians developed more ornate and intricate designs. The beauty and magnificence of Murano glass quickly spread beyond the shimmering waters of Venice. In fact, the demand for Venetian glass making grew to such a large extent that Louis XIV commissioned Venetian glass blowers to design Murano glass for his palace at Versailles. Other countries in Europe, including Spain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, set up their own furnaces run by former Murano glass masters. This later created a disastrous effect upon Venice's prestigious standing as the pre-eminent locale for glass blowing. Other countries used the leaked secrets to develop their own interpretation and production techniques.

In 1797, Napoleon’s troops caused the fall of the Venetian Republic. Many of the Murano furnaces were shuttered during the first half of the 19th century. The glass masters fled Venice and relocated throughout Europe. The furnaces that remained open only produced small bottles and beads of an inferior quality to the beautiful glass artwork produced earlier.

It was not until the 1860s when the Glass Museum of Murano was founded by Vincenzo Zanetti. There, many artists were re-educated in the lost art of glass blowing. Other furnaces began to open and the glass blowing industry of Murano was reborn. Murano had been restored as a center of exclusive and celebrated glass art and jewelry.
Murano Glass Necklace, Venetian Glass - Murano Glass
Venetian Glass - Murano Glass


Today, the artisans of Murano still utilize these century-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary glass jewelry and art to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers. Tensanremo.com brings you the best of Murano glass jewelry. Our Murano-born designers and glass masters have perfected the most magnificent jewelry collection found exclusively at Tensanremo.com.

Visit our online boutique to view all of our contemporary glass jewelry, costume jewelry, and fine jewelry handcrafted by master Murano glassmakers.
 


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