Murano Glass Blowing Techniques

“Glass-blowing” is a method which has not changed a lot since its invention. In the simplest words it involves a glassmaker blowing inside the pipe in order to form a glass object in the suitable shape. What is significant in the appear of products originating from Murano glassworks is that their magnificent appearance plus colours are achieved due to particular addition to the glass mixture. For example , adding gold or silver evade to the glass mixture will generate beautifully shimmering vases or bowls. When a glassmaker adds zinc, the glass will appear to be white; whenever adding cobalt, the product will have a sea deep blue tone; when combining in manganese, the item will be violet. After the product is finished, a glassmaker places it in an oven known as “tempera” in order to cool it straight down.

Below, you will find a short description of various techniques used by glassmakers on Murano Island.


The technique had been discovered in Murano in the early 17th century and its application allows the coloured glass item to show the effect of colour change when tilted. The legend says that avventurina glass was invented by accident when cooper filling was spilled by a Murano glassmaker into the glass he was working on. The glass is definitely achieved through adding metallic parts such as cooper or chrome which are slowly crystallized out of the molten glass. It makes the glass object wonderfully glittering. The word avventurina comes from the particular Italian word “ventura” which means lot of money or chance.


Bubbles within the glass occur either because this is an intention of a glassmaker or as an accident due to improperly used method or a glassmaker not having enough experience in this field. Hand-made products always have a few bubbles in it. Bullicate is a technique which is used with intention of making a regular pattern of evenly spaced air bubbles. The bubbles can be larger or smaller. Single pockets are pushed into molten glass with a spike which makes a world looks silvered when the glass lowers. It was widely utilized in the 1955s.


The technique has been invented in the 15th century on the Murano Island however soon after the formula for this kind of glass has been lost for many years. The main characteristic of the calcedonio glass is visibility associated with polychromatic veins which run through the dark-coloured glass. As a result, by combining various metal compounds in a specific fashion, the look imitating natural rocks, such as chalcedony, agate or malachite is achieved. The usual metals used in this technique are silver and mineral oxides, such as copper, iron, or even manganese, melted with opaline glass.


Cameo glass is an unique high-class form of glass art. It involves fusing two layers of different colour glass and later etching and carving the object to create a design.
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The most popular forms of cameo glass present white-colored opaque glass figures and motifs on a dark coloured background. A few of the objects may also be carved in a manner to reveal portions of the underlying colours. This technique was first used by historic Romans in 30BC, and had been particularly popular among British artists at the begining of 20th century.


Cristallo, created in 1450 in Venice by a master of glass, Angelo Borovier, is famous for being first truly colorless glass, totally clear, without any yellow-colored or greenish color originating from iron oxide impurities. It is achieved by bleaching glass mixture with help of manganese or other de-colorants.


Fenicio was used on glass during the 200s AD, and at the conclusion of the 17th century it was adopted by Murano glassmakers. It involves the glassworker to wrap the incandescent glass threads with a thin pontil and to comb the threads having a hooked tool when the object remains hot. After the threads are combined into a single piece of glass, the glassmaker achieves decoration which reminds festoons or feathers.


The filigrana technique was invented in the 1500s. Its final products are pieces which have an opaque white or even coloured core. The technique consists of using glass rods fused collectively, then blown and shaped by the glassmaker. There are three patterns which are produced when utilizing the filigrana method. These are: mezza filigrana (single filament rods), reticello (diamond pattern where the threads cross and form the grid which is created as a result of rotating two halves of a glass item in opposite directions during heating) and retortoli (two filaments twisted into a spiral shape and not crossing).


Popular in the 16th to 18th century, the technique involves immersing still very hot glass object in cold water. It leads to creation of a glass item which appears cracked on its surface, similar to crocked snow. After immersion in cold water, the crackles are covered along with another layer of glass.


Incalmo glass was produced the first time in the 16th century when Italian language glassmakers looked for a technique which may allow them to make glass objects along with two or three different coloured sections of glass looking as if it was one piece. Many different coloured glass pieces are usually fused together when the glass continues to be flexible to form a single piece.


Italian glassmakers have already been using this technique since the 15th centuries. The main objective was to produce opaque white glass which would imitate well-known that time fine china.


This is actually the ancient technique which used for the very first time in Egypt between the 3rd plus 1st century BC and is nevertheless utilized by Murano glassmakers. It involves using thin sections of glass rods that are fused together, blown and then formed to create shapes, often in floral or geometric designs.


Invented in 1930s in Murano, the particular Sommerso technique allows to create items with a layered appearance where on coloured layer of glass is covered by another one of different colour. This kind of effect is created by using layers associated with glass formed by dipping the particular glass object into molten glass of another colour.