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:
And this is why they call it glass blowing!
The master was able to blow a bubble into the glob of glass that ballooned out and formed the vase/pitcher’s body.
It was repetitive process: heat, shape, repeat.
He made it all look so easy, but the glassmaking master had 15 years of experience!
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!
Soon, he was all done!
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.
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