Murano Glass Blowing Demonstration in Venice

Murano Glass Chandelier

What is “murano glass?” Before going to Venice, I had no idea what murano glass was either. Turns out, this kind of glass made on the Venetian island of Murano is extremely famous and sold everywhere on the islands. Murano’s glassmakers led Europe for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enamelled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass (Wiki).

On this trip, I actually had the opportunity to watch a master glass maker at work! Here’s what I saw:

Colored Glass Beads
I believe these colored beads were to add color to the otherwise clear glass.
Glassblowing Workshop Venice Italy
The workshop
Glassblowing Venice Italy
First heating/melting the glass to make it malleable
Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy
Once out of the fire, it looked like putty! It was hard to remember that the glob of glass was VERY HOT.

And this is why they call it glass blowing!

Glassblowing Venice Italy

The master was able to blow a bubble into the glob of glass that ballooned out and formed the vase/pitcher’s body.

Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy

Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy
Working quickly to shape it before the glass cooled

It was repetitive process: heat, shape, repeat.

Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy

He made it all look so easy, but the glassmaking master had 15 years of experience!

Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy

Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy

I was mesmerized by the way he worked the molten glass. It looked like he was playing with putty – so efficient, sure, and calm. Each move was executed confidently – or else the moment would’ve passed with the quickly cooling glass! Man do I now wish I took a video of that!

Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy

Soon, he was all done!

Glassblowing Demonstration Venice Italy
Thanks for posing with the camera! 😉

In all, the demo lasted only ~15 minutes. I couldn’t help but compare this glass blowing demo to the first glass blowing demo that I saw in St. Louis: Playing with Fire at Third Degree Glass Factory. That demo took about an hour! So it was clear to me that the Venetians definitely knew what they were doing and are the best for a reason. It took two people (a long time) to carefully make the glass vase in St. Louis while this glass master effortlessly created this pitcher in a fourth of the time. Needless to say, I was very impressed.

Murano Glass Orchestra Venice Italy
Saw this in a window display from the street – too cute to not take a picture!

Have you seen glass blowing before? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. More glass blowing: Playing with Fire at Third Degree Glass Factory

Click to follow on: Facebook | Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

  • So very cool! I did see this in Venice and was just amazed by the myriad things you can do with glass. Your photos are lovely, Jessica!

  • This is very fascinating to see. It’s amazing how so much passion for their craft can pour into making glass art form and their technical skills are impressive. I worked in the chandelier industry for 5 years and designing and building one is an art in itself. Hats off to these talented artisans.

    • Wow, that’s really neat! You must have even greater insight into this kind of craft. Did you design the chandeliers themselves?

  • That’s incredible! I always think that glass blowing is so incredible, and quite scary as well. I could never handle material like that!

    • I agree! I was thinking how nervous/careful I’d feel if I had to do that. But it was quite calming to watch a pro work because he made it look so easy!

  • Pingback: August '15 In Review - WONDERMENTARY()

  • Pingback: Are You Going to Scarborough Fair? - WONDERMENTARY()