venetian & murano glass

I absolutely adore Venetian glass chandeliers.  I have always imagined that I would design my entire dinning room around one of these beauties.  The glass is know for being very colorful and extremely elaborate, I would even say graceful.  As the name would hint, it is made in Venice, Italy – and more specifically, the island of Murano.

The techniques and characteristics of Venetian glass date back to the 13th century.  The roots of the craft may have originated from the Byzantines, however other the centuries you will see the development of many Asian and Muslim influences in the art.  Murano became the center for glassmaking in 1291, when the Venetian Republic feared that fire would destroy the mostly wood buildings and ordered the glassmakers to move the production to the island.

The glassmakers soon became the most prominent citizens on the island of Murano; they enjoyed wealth and power and merged with aristocratic society.  The Venetian Republic tried to keep them and their craftsmen confined to the island, but they soon migrated and set up glass making shops across Europe.  Today, the glassmakers still use the traditional centuries old process of creating the glass art – but have developed and refined the craft over the years.

Fortunately for the rest of us, you can find it used in décor around the world, both the ornate classic designs and wonderfully modern artworks.

(image source: perch in new orleans; elle decor – ashley stark; wendy blount; elle decor – guillaume gentet; katie ridder; carnivale) 

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