Friday, January 14, 2011

Murano Glass - Venice, Italy

A glass maker working on a vase - Murano, Italy
A glass maker working on a vase - Murano, Venice, Italy

Murano, a group of small islands situated about fifteen minutes by vaporetto from St Marks square, is famous for its glass makers. Glass making start in Murano in 1291 when the Venetian republic ordered all glass makers off the main islands fearing the foundries would would cause fires and destroyed the wooden buildings in Venice. Today, glass making remains the main industry on the island.

More images after the jump.

A glass vase being heated in a furnace - Murano, Venice, Italy
A glass vase being heated in a furnace - Murano, Venice, Italy

We visited Murano for a few hours while we were in Venice and browsed through a number of shops selling every type of glassware imaginable - from vases and liqueur glasses to glass beads and figurines as lamps and chandeliers. The manager of one of the larger shops we stopped at, offered to take us around the glass factory on the premises which supplied the store. We were keen to see the factory and accepted his invitation despite knowing that we would be expected to buy something from his store.

The finishing touches on a long vase - Murano, Italy
The finishing touches on a long vase - Murano, Venice, Italy

The factory was comprised of a number of small teams, each around 4 people strong which specialised in a particular type of glassware. One team constructed chandelier pieces, while another specialised in vases and yet another produced drinking glasses. Each team was led by a master craftsman who guided the other team members through the process of heating the glass and shaping the objects. Each member of the team was assigned a specific task in the manufacturing process.

Another vase taking shape - Murano, Italy
Another vase taking shape - Murano, Venice, Italy

We spent about twenty minutes in the factory before returning to the gallery to browse through the products and choose our souvenir of Murano.

All the images on this post were captured with a Canon 7D and the 24-105mm lens.

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