Shedding Light on Murano Glass Raw Materials Used Today

Murano glass (Italian: Murano vetro) objects produced on the island of Murano have a long trail of rich history that can be dated back to the thirteenth century. In addition to the peerless craftsmanship of glass masters shaping these masterpieces, another significant aspect that contributes to their beauty and quality is the raw materials that have undergone several changes since the Italian Murano glass, also known as Venetian glass, was first produced. In this post, we’ll dig into the raw materials used in the Murano glassmaking process nowadays.

These days, the mixture of raw materials to be supplied to the said batch melting process is composed of different substances, each of which has a precise function.

Vitrification Process

•    Very pure silica sand: It brings in the glass silica (SiO2), the main component that measurably influences all the chemical and physical properties of a material.

•    Must not contain impurities dyes.

•    The iron oxide (Fe2O3) must be present in quantities less than 0.015%.

•    Chromium oxide (Cr2O3) must be present in quantities less than 0.0003%.

•    Grit is normally between 0.1 and 0.3 mm.

Fluxes

•    Soda or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3)

•    Potash or potassium carbonate (K2CO3)

•    Lithium carbonate (LiCO3)

These raw materials of Italian Murano glass are synthetic products; they lower the melting temperature of the batch and extend the range of glass processing.

Fluxes/Stabilizers

•    Lime or calcium carbonate (CaCO3)

•    Dolomite, or carbonate of calcium and magnesium (Ca, Mg (CO3))

•    Barium carbonate (BaCO3)

•    Zinc oxide (ZnO)

These raw materials lower the melting temperature of the glass batch, improve the chemical resistance of the glass and effectively shorten the interval processing.

Refining Process

•    Sodium nitrate (NaNO3)

•    Potassium nitrate (KNO3)

•    Antimony oxide (Sb2O3)

•    Sodium sulfate (Na2SO4)

The refining of raw materials has been in used since the nineteenth century, thanks to the higher temperature attained in the melting furnaces that allowed to perform the entire cycle of melting in one step. They facilitate the expulsion of gas from the molten glass.

Raw Materials Used as Dyes
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These are added in small amounts to the batch.

•    Potassium dichromate or chrome oxide is used to obtain green (emerald) colour in the Venetian glass.

•    Cobalt oxide (CoO) is used for blue colour.

•    Copper black oxide (CuO) is used for blue (aquamarine).

•    Manganese dioxide (MnO2) is used to obtain purple (amethyst) in the Murano vetro.

•    Gold is used for red (ruby).

•    Selenium + cadmium sulfide is used for red.

•    Sulfur + coal is used for yellow (amber).

•    Cadmium sulfide is used for yellow.

•    Cerium oxide + titanium oxide is used for lemon yellow.

•    Erbium oxide is used for pink colour.

•    Neodymium oxide is used for pinkish purple (alexandrite).

Raw Materials Used as Opacifiers

These are added to the batch in rather high quantities.

•    Cryolite (Na3AlF6) + fluorspar (CaF2) is used to obtain opal Murano glass in white milk colour.

•    Sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) + arsenious anhydride (As2O3) is used for opal silk.

•    Minium (Pb3O4) + arsenious anhydride (As2O3) is used for opal sunflower.

•    Minium (Pb3O4) + arsenious anhydride (As2O3) in high quantity is used for opal or enamel.

The aforesaid raw materials play a pivotal role in bringing various Murano or Venetian glass objects to the desired quality, shape and finish. If you wish to shop online for authentic Murano vetro items, then OriginalMuranoGlass.com is a trusted online store to visit for all your needs. It offers a large selection of Italian Murano glass such as sculptures, vases, jewellery, plates, glasses, chandeliers, table lamps and many more.

Murano Glass (Vetro) – Tools Necessary to Carry Out the Glassmaking Process

There is no doubt that making different Murano glass (Italian: Murano vetro) items is more dependent upon the skill of the glass artist than the use of special tools. Reinforcing this fact, an old Murano adage says “Good tools are nice, but good hands are better.” However, Murano or Venetian glass artisans still feel the need for excellent tools to facilitate their tasks and create stunning Murano glass sculptures (Italian: Murano vetro sculture), vases, tableware, chandeliers, jewellery, etc.

The tools that are most frequently used are almost the same as those already in use in Roman times. They have been simple and can be divided into 2 distinct types:

• Tools for removing the glass from the crucible

• Tools to shape and cut the hot glass

Tools for Removing the Glass from the Crucible

Canna da soffio (blowing pipe): This is an iron rod internally hollow and used for blowing glass forming free-hand or mold.

Pontello: It is an iron rod thinner than the blowing pipe, used to fix and support the object at different points during the various stages of processing.

Ferro pieno: This is a thick rod of solid iron for the full withdrawal of bulky items of glass, processing of which does not provide for the blowing.

Speo: It is a thin rod of solid iron used for the removal of small amounts of glass intended to be applied and shaped hot on the object being processed.

Tools to Shape and Cut the Hot Glass

Bronzin: It is a thick plate of marble, today bronze or iron, on which the molten glass just taken from the crucible is cooled by rolling and blending.

Borselle: These are tongs or pliers with ends of different forms, used to shape the red-hot glass by hand. Varieties include borselle da tagiar, borselle da pissegar, borselle per morise, etc.

Tagianti: These are big glass-cutting clippers with blades of different shapes.

Magiosso: It is a wooden tool in a hollow hemispherical shape, used to round the hot molten glass.

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From adorning any room to beautifying oneself, Murano or Venetian glass objects are available in a wide range of forms. There are blown Murano glass vases (Italian: Murano vetro vasi) in fascinating shapes and rich hues to blow anyone’s mind. Murano glass sculptures (Murano vetro sculture) are not lagging in popularity either and can be found in a host of animal, bird, lover and abstract forms. Whether you want to buy a Murano glass vase, sculpture, piece of jewellery or anything else, OriginalMuranoGlass.com is among the best choices online. It deals in authentic products handmade by famous Murano glass artists. Time will roll on, but the appeal of Murano Vetro will last forever.

Murano Glass Jewellery Standing the Test of Time with Never-ending Glitter

Italy is the land of fast automobiles, extraordinary structural designs, world-famous artists and beautiful jewellery to name a few. Italians are well-known for their knack to attain perfection in everything they do. And, making jewellery is not an exception. Italian glass jewellery, especially the ones made on the island of Murano, is an ideal example of how adept the Italians are in their work. Murano glass jewellery is laden with many exceptional attributes. These items are graceful, valuable, varied and above all, are handcrafted using with the age-old and very intricate techniques.

The origin of Italian Murano glass can be traced back to the thirteenth century when all the glass artisans in Venice were ordered to move their foundries to Murano, fearing damage to the city’s mainly wooden structures. The distance between Venice and Murano is only a 10-minute boat ride. Since the Venetians were the creators of top-quality artistic glass objects in many varieties, they always strived to protect their craft from being duplicated. However, numerous countries have forayed into the field of manufacturing glassware, but they are yet to emulate, let alone surpass the topnotch standards set by the Murano glassmakers.

Murano glass jewellery stands out from other varieties on several counts. It is unique because it has a glorious history to fall back on, because it comes with an array of vivid and exquisite colours as well as patterns accomplished through many ancient glassmaking methods. One more noteworthy aspect of Murano or Venetian glass jewellery is every item is one of its kind. In fact, every glass master adopts their own distinct style of manufacturing adornments like bead necklaces, earrings, pendants, etc. which has been traversing through different generations.

Thanks to its exclusivity, elegance and exquisiteness on the whole, Murano glass jewellery is suitable for all occasions. Women can wear it with stunning, formal robes as well as informal clothes. It can prove to be a great gift item too.

If you want to see some of the loveliest jewels on this planet, then a trip to Italy, particularly Murano, should be on the top of your priority list. However, if it is difficult for you to undertake a trip, then you can count on one of many web-based shops selling a wide range of Murano glass jewellery and other glass art objects like vases, sculptures, tableware, chandeliers, etc. These shops stock only certified products handmade and signed by renowned glass masters of the island. You can even save both time and money by placing an order online. OriginalMuranoGlass.com is a one-stop shop for such wonderful items and certainly worth visiting.

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Murano glass jewellery can add that extra oomph to your beauty. You can also present it to your near and dear ones to make them cherished it for the rest of their lives. Hence, if you wish to shop and share the unique Venetian glass tradition with others, then go online and own a magnificent piece of Italian Murano glass without any delay!