ORIGINS: MURANO GLASS IN JEWELLERY
Learn about Millefiori, the Murano Glass that has placed its roots in history as far back as the 1200s.
If you've never been introduced to Murano glassmaking before, you're in for a surprise.
Ara L. - October 5, 2021
Glassmaking originates as far back as the Roman Empire, where you would use finished glass for illumination, not a form of art. The transformation of glass into art began in the early 1200s, on an island north of Venice known as Murano. As early as the 1200s, Murano, Italy, became the epicentre of glassmaking globally, so crucial that local laws governed the workers and the art. They made rules to maintain their craftsmanship within Italy. All of this paved the way for the future success of the Murano Glass.
Image of modern-day Murano, Venice, Italy
The Rise and Decline
After its introduction, the height of glassmaking and creations methods endured through the 15th and 16th centuries. In Murano, artisans were adopting techniques learned worldwide, innovating and further perfecting to their satisfaction. It was during these times where they were developing various methods of glassmaking we know today. These types include the Cristallo (clear glass), Lattimo (White Glass), Enameling, Filigrana and others.
Similar to many stories through history, Murano did see a time of gradual decline. The competition came in from different parts of the world, including Bohemia, England and France. The names in the industry drew some attention away from Murano. Along with a declining interest in glassmaking, the industry in Italy was heading in the wrong direction. What was once a booming facility, using 24 furnaces to produce glass for the world, had only a light burning in 4 of their furnaces. The tireless dedication of the glassmakers, holding on to family traditions of their fathers and ancestors, kept the tinder burning. The best part, it was not for nothing.
Fire Burns from Ashes
The breakthrough came circa 1854 when the Toso Brothers opened a manufacturing facility named Fratelli Toso. Against all odds and local laws, they worked tirelessly to reignite the methods of Murano glassmaking. They aimed to pay homage to the founding days of glassmaking in Italy while building newer, more extraordinary designs and styles never seen before. The industry was more robust than before, and its love hasn't gone since these times.
Finished Murano Glass Vase in coordinating colours
By the 1920s, the transformation became natural, where glassmaking finally became focused on Art-Deco, finding its place in interior design over standalone, everyday household pieces. This transformation didn't bring an end to everything else Murano glassmaking stands for; it was more of an evolution. Fast forward to the modern-day, the Murano Glass as it is now known has won countless prizes, still being produced and manufactured using the most authentic and original practices, holding its purity, rarity and beauty. The transformation has been endless as it's paved its way into Jewellery, making it the most romantic combination in art.
Modern Colour Induced Murano Glass at Exhibition
The epicentre of glassmaking has now transformed into the central hub of Jewellery and fashion. In Italy, you will find the havens of Jewellery, some of the world's most iconic and reliable jewellers and designs ever seen. Murano glass and Gold was a simple marriage that was inevitable, one full of decoration and beauty all in one. The millefiori (as Italians call it) has left a stable place in Italian heritage and artistry. Glassmaking is a true passion for them, and how it should always remain that way; it is simply breathtaking.
Murano Glass Pendant Wrapped in Fine 18KT Italian Yellow Gold
Getting you in control of how Jewels will look and fit when wornLEARN MORE