Learning about the craft of Murano glass works in Venice

Posted on Jul 29, 2019 in Student Speak

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On our educational trip to Europe, we travelled to Venice. Situated in north-eastern Italy, the city of Venice was built on more than 100 small islands. Venice has almost no motorable roads, but a series of canals lined with a number of magnificent churches and beautiful palaces. We explored this splendid city on a gondola ride. After the city tour, we went to St. Mark’s Square where we saw the Doge’s Palace built in Venetian Gothic style. However, the main highlight of our trip to Venice was our visit to a Murano glass factory.

The history of glass-making in Venice goes back to the 8th century, but it emerged as a major trading centre for glassware only in the 13th century. For a long time, the process of glass-making was safeguarded as a secret, limiting its manufacturing to Murano, an island in the Venetian lagoon. This island is widely known for its glass-making and glass-sculpting factories.

The day we went to Murano to visit a glass factory, the weather was quite warm. The temperature inside the factory was very high because the glass needs to be melted at 800°C or higher and then sculpted using different tools. After sculpting, the glass objects have to be cooled immediately, otherwise, they would burst into tiny pieces. Those sculptures are so hot that if you put a piece of paper on them, the paper would burst into flames. This was demonstrated by an artisan at the glass factory.

We were spellbound to see the glass artisans working so efficiently and meticulously. We saw an artisan sculpting red-hot melted glass into a horse, which left all of us spellbound. He also informed us that glassware from Murano is stronger than the usual glass objects. We realised this when a glass sculpture did not break after it was struck against a hard surface during the demonstration. We also learnt about the composition of different colours. For example, the green colour is obtained when iron oxide and chrome oxide is added to the blend and the blue colour is obtained by using cobalt oxide. Sometimes, thin pieces of 24-carat gold are directly infused with liquid red glass to create some exquisite glass objects.

We saw numerous sculptures, glasses, vases, and other objects at the glass factory in Murano. One can choose to purchase the high-quality Murano glass items as mementoes of their tour. Our trip to Murano was an astounding experience as we learnt a lot watching a live demonstration of the traditional art of glass-making.

Team Members: Niyonica Garg and Tanya (Strawberry Fields High School, Chandigarh).

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EdTerra Edventures conducts various international and domestic programs for the youth. If you go to school and are under 17 years of age, ask your school to contact us to arrange a visit to your school for an introduction to the “Italy-Switzerland-Germany” and other journeys under EdTerra’s Going Global Program.

For queries call +91-11-48885800 or visit EdTerra Browse Journeys page to know more about the programs we offer to school students. Visit our FB page by clicking HERE

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