Murano Glass Bead Jewelry: A Short History of These Unique Beads

Venetian glass, also known as Murano glass due to its production on this small island, is globally renowned for its beauty whether it is a colorful blown glass chandelier, figurine,vase or mirror.The glass handmade in special furnaces boasts of a style and pedigree that can’t be matched by any other types of glass. And, the Murano glass beads are exceptional too; they are so elegant. The Venetian glass making industry was shifted in the thirteenth century to the island of Murano because fire was hard to control in Venice. However, the discovery of the new world opened up a new market for the glass beads used to make jewelry.

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The development of a novel market resulted in the bead making explosion. In a year, more than 4500 tons of beads were exported from Murano. Everything is made in glass on this island and you can also observe traditional glass making craft at its best here. Many ancient bead making techniques have been revived by glass makers to produce a host of wonderful items. Nowadays, the beads are woven into the decorative fibers of Venice.

Sometimes, you might feel the history of beaded jewelry cannot be interesting. But, it is quite interesting to learn where it all began. Some say bead making started more than thousand years ago when human beings found the gemstones incredibly beautiful. Beaded jewelry can be used for many purposes. One way is for value and another is for exquisiteness. Some cultures also use beads as talismans.

Handcrafted beads jewelry has been made from various materials like bone, glass, porcelain, paper, clay, shells, gemstones, ivory, metals and even wood. Until the 1800s,the mass production of beads didn’t even begin when the glass beads became widely available.

Art of Making Murano Glass Bead Jewelry

The procedure of making Murano glass is rather complex. There is an interval when the glass is soft before it gets hardened completely as the glass passes from a liquid state to solid. This is the interval when the glass master can shape the material. Murano artisans make use of different tools including canna da sofio(a blowing pipe), pontello (an iron rod), scagno (a work bench), borselle(tongs), and tagianti (glass cutting clippers).

Some Popular Murano Glass Bead Jewelry Items

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There are many beautiful and colorful Murano glass bead jewelry items available for purchase. These include:

• Beaded earrings: These are basically worked with the lamp working technique.Made with special glass,these are blown glass beads.

• Beaded necklaces: The necklaces are also made with the lamp working technique. Each bead is worked as a single piece. These are the unique gift ideas for women.

• Pendants: Handcrafted with the same lamp working method, the pendant is worked as the single piece by the glass masters.

• Beaded bracelets: Bracelets in Murano glass are made by hand using small metal tools. There are many colors available and you can choose from them according to your preference.

Murano glass bead jewelry items are exclusive artworks which are made on this famous island and sold by genuine online shops like OriginalMuranoGlass.com to buyers across the world. From a stunning Murano glass bead necklace and bracelet to ring, pendant and earrings, you can select from an array of Murano glass jewelry options at Original Murano Glass, based on the island itself. In addition to these adornments, the website offers lots of blown glass plates, glass wedding favors, glass animal figurines, and corporate glass gifts at competitive rates. You can also visit Murano glass factory of this company via an online booking at its website.

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Mount a Venetian Mirror to Accomplish Both Aesthetic and Functional Excellence

Nowadays, there are varieties of objects used to decorate a home. Most of the time,beautiful wall mirrors add a pretty look to the room. That makes the surroundings livelier. In this modern era, we have discovered many new ways of interior decoration for homes, offices and restaurants. One of the methods often used in interior design is the installation of Venetian mirrors that are unique kind of furnishings capable of adding beauty to any room.

For an appealing appearance, the Venetian mirror should be placed at a perfect place. For example, you can place such decorative mirrors in the middle of a dull wall and can enhance the look of the wall as well as of the room by their stunning forms. As a compliment to the mirror, you can place many other pieces of furniture around it also. However, a Venetian or Murano glass mirror can perform its role as a stand-alone item too.
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When you think about decorating your office or home, Venetian mirrors will be an excellent choice and should be there in your priority list because they will certainly give you a positive outcome. If mirrors are mounted at the right place facing the right direction, then they will definitely increase the attractiveness of the whole room. Venetian mirrors are now updated with lots of contemporary designs, i.e. you can have mirrors to match any modern setting.

Types of Venetian Mirrors

•    Venetian wall mirrors: Wall mirrors made in Venice generally have wooden frames that are covered with the strips of cut mirrors, and decorated with glass reeds, leaves and flowers. Depending upon your personal taste, you can choose from lots of decorative frames. Understated splendor and simple lines can make a wall mirror more stylish.

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•    Venetian table mirrors: Table mirrors are also handcrafted products. They will render a beautiful look to your table as well as to the room. They come in different shapes and sizes. The frames designed beautifully are made up of authentic Murano glass. The best part is you can also gift these table mirrors to your loved ones.

•    Furniture and accessories with Venetian mirrors:To add a glamorous effect to your room, furniture and accessories with a Venetian mirror are the first choice. There are varieties of furniture and accessories available for purchase. Some of them have been mentioned below:

Glass tray: Impress your guests in a royal way by serving them in a Murano glass tray. With a table top mirror, the tray will add a unique exquisiteness.

Venetian table: The artwork of such tables is accomplished by a team of glass makers, carpenters and glass masters with very much attention to details. In modern days, they can also be customized according to your taste and preference.
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Hand mirror: Its frame consists of floral and leaves decoration. The structure is made in wood.The different colors of flowers are also available. It is very nice as a special gift.

When it comes to purchasing a Venetian mirror, the online mode of shopping is getting increasingly popular. Thanks to big, trustworthy sellers like OriginalMuranoGlass.com, buyers face no difficulty ordering an authentic and gorgeous Murano art glass mirror from the comfort of their homes. So, transforming your ambience has become as easy as clicking your mouse.

Millefiori Glass: The Best Known Technique of Murano Glassmaking

Millefiori is a combination of two Italian words;‘mille’ means thousand and ‘fiori’ means flower. It is a glass making technique that involves the creation of exclusive patterns on glassware, using glass rods or canes known as murrine. Looking at the astonishing Murano art glass rings, pendants, figurines and even vases, it is hard to believe how Venetian artisans are able to make these arts on glass.

Creating the pattern of millefiori glass is a multi-step process. It all starts with the preparation of glass rods in a special way. It involves numerous layers of semi liquid glass paste applied one on top of another around the cylindrical rod. Every layer is molded in a certain shape and color. Then,multilayered rod is expanded and cut into small cylindrical pieces known as murrine. It is subsequently cleaned up and applies a special heat resistant for the product to mold to give the necessary shape. The mold containing murrine pattern is then placed in a special furnace to heat up the glass mixture in its liquid state. Once murrine starts bonding with each other, mold is detached and the artisan presses its contents to create a continuous millefiori surface with no gaps. The next step is to put it back to the furnace to shape the final product.

Varieties of millefiori glass are as follows:
•    Scent bottles
•    Earrings
•    Small rings
•    Pendants
•    Figurines
•    Drinking glasses
•    Vases
•    Bowls, etc.

To get special millifiori pieces, you don’t have to go to Venice because the online shopping has made the original Venetian glass in general and millefiori glass in particular easily accessible at reasonable prices.

How to Know About Real Millefiori Glass Objects?
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•    Look at the item itself: The real pieces are handmade with slightly uneven surface or texture. If you are buying through the Internet, you should check if the photos are clear and if or not the colors are bright. Always seek the proof that the object is handcrafted and not mass-produced. Its high quality, specific descriptions, rich colors and good photos are very important.
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•    Know what else comes with the item: You should look for signatures or labels on the Murano art glass items stating the name of the artist or seller. The packaging is also important and should be attractive. The seller should also offer a certificate of origin for the product and the text should be in Italian language. If these things come with the item, then you are on the right track.

•    Seller: A reputable seller is always trustworthy. They will share necessary information about themselves. You should check their real business address and phone number. They will also offer you a liberal exchange or return policy.
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•    Collection of glass products the seller offers: The seller should offer a wide variety of products that includes Murano glass jewelry and other home décor items such as chandeliers, wall lamps, mirrors, vases, sculptures, centerpieces, goblets, etc. Millefiori glass items are hard to fake. Sellers who offer millefiori objects are often genuine sellers. You can surely deal with them.

A little knowledge and common sense can make your investment in Murano art glass worth while. Enjoy the beautiful millefiori glass and adorn your home with many such decorative pieces. Think about OriginalMuranoGlass.com if you wish to order these masterworks over the Internet. This well-known online shop deals in a wide selection of genuine glass items handmade in Murano, Italy only.

Venice Glass – Unique Craftsmanship from the Centerof Glass Making

Venice glass is a type of glass produced mainly on the island of Murano in Italy. Towards the end of the thirteenth century, the Venice glass making industry was shifted to Murano. So, Murano glass is interwoven with the Venetian glass. Expert artisans on this island have been at the forefront making a host ofartistic glassware for centuries. Murano glass is world-famousfor being colorful, detailed and proficiently made.

Top 3 Reasons to Buy Murano Glass

•    Murano glass is unique.Objects handcrafted of Murano glass are unmatched. You can choose them according to your personality, taste or room decor.

•    Murano glass is 100% handcrafted in Venice. The techniques used for glass making are centuries old. Artisans acquire the skills and techniques from the workshops of their fathers and grandfathers.

•    Murano or Venice glass is an art. Murano glass masters are creative artists. They always strive to achieve new artistic visions by inventing new designs and color combinations.

Types of Murano Glass

•    Murano glass chandelier: In 18th century, Murano glass makers introduced chandeliers that are not only decorative, but also broaden the light in a better way by filling the room with unique and charming illumination.
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•    Murano glass pendant lightings: There are many varieties of glass lightings in stores now. However, nothing can match the quality of Murano pendant lighting fixtures as they are more colorful and dazzling. For the past two decades or so, they have been the most sought after to decorate homes, palaces and hotels.

•    Murano glass lamps: These stunning lamps epitomize top quality, excellent taste and clean design. They may be little expensive but you can make an investment to enjoy a marvelous piece of artwork that can be cherished for life. They have the magical capability to change the appearance of whole room. Murano glass lamps can also change the mood. They will provide a charming style as well as aesthetic quality to any style of room.
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•    Murano glass jewelry: It is a kind filigree jewelry created from Murano glass. Venetian glass makers are the gifted artists who are capable of producing Murano earrings, pendants, bracelets, beaded necklaces and even watches of extraordinary designs. The type of glass mainly used for the making of Murano glass jewelry is known as Crystallo – a transparent glass of topnotch quality.
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•    Murano glass vase:Various sizes and shapes of Murano glass vases are made with the technique of glass blowing and different decorations.

4 Ways to Identify Murano Glass

•    Look for a certificate of origin or an authentic sticker or stamp.

•    Look for a signature made by the glass master on the item itself.

•    Look at the final selling price of the item.

•    Pay attention to the techniques employed to produce the item.

Murano or Venice glass is well-known for its place of origin, its factories and its artisans. You can now buy a Murano glass chandelier, lamp, vase, sculpture or anything else online, without worrying about its authenticity or quality. OriginalMuranoGlass.com is the leading destination for Murano glass shopping, thanks to the website’s huge collection of Murano glass jewelry, lighting fixtures, vases, mirrors, plates, tableware, and so on. Visit the site to experience the charisma of this unique glass for yourself!

Various Murano Glass Gift Options to Make Any Occasion Memorable

Gift has been a symbol of love, affection and appreciation in our society. Human beings, whether they are in personal, social or business relationships, present gifts to others who matter to them the most on special occasions like Christmas, wedding, baby shower, birthday, business foundation day, and so on. What to present is often a dilemma for people who have to choose from unlimited options available today. However, to ensure a maximum possible positive impact on the recipient, there is no better option than a Murano glass gift. Yeah, it’s a reality! Regardless of the occasion you’ve, Murano glass (Italian: vetro di Murano) would certainly offer something spectacular matching the event.
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Exchanging gifts has become the essence of the present-day Christmas celebration. And, Christmas gift Murano glass (Italian: regalo natale in vetro di Murano) has plenty of options to choose from. From delicate bead jewelry, watches, goblets, centerpieces and vases to overwhelming sculptures, chandeliers and mirrors, the list is just endless! Meticulously handcrafted by gifted glass masters on the island of Murano, every item is unique in itself, portraying an ancient Venetian glassmaking technique, fascinating design and shape, and rich finish. Looking for an affordable Christmas glass gift idea (Italian: idea regalo natale vetro)? Then, opt for various Murano glass candle holders made with lampwork technique. These candlestick glass arts can prove to be memorable Christmas gifts for the recipients. Other gift options for this jovial occasion include bottle stoppers, Christmas gondolas, photo frames, watches, plates, vases, goblets, etc.

Wedding is another special occasion commemorated by gifts galore. While the newlyweds present their guests with wedding favors, the guests also wish the couple a happy married life giving away beautiful gifts. Different Murano glass wedding gifts (Italian: regalo matrimonio vetro) may range from a heart-shaped bottle stopper, collection of plates and photo frames, and figurine to centerpiece, pitcher and flower table mirror.

Handmade in Murano, a table Venetian mirror features an elaborate flower and leaf decoration in multiple colors. Supported by a wooden structure, this artistic piece is a masterwork of skilled mirror artisans who create it with full attention to details. Like other Murano glass or vetro di Murano objects, it is not mass-produced, but crafted in accordance with the age-old Venetian tradition.
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Apart from Christmas and wedding, a Murano glass gift is hugely popular in the corporate sector as well. You’ll find many mesmerizing choices that would certainly appeal to your employees, partners or customers. A fountain pen handcrafted with lampwork technique is always a great choice for corporate gifts (Italian: regali aziendali). You can also purchase a set of pens in different colors, accompanied by a decent box and ink to write. One more option is a Murano glass vase made with a special glass blowing technique. Available in a host of unique shapes and designs, each piece boasts of unmatched engravings and an exquisite blend of several shades. You may also go for a blown glass goblet offered in a variety of finishes and intricate details. The history of Venice says that the Doge (the king of Venice) wanted to drink with a different goblet every day, so there was a competition between the glass masters to make the most beautiful drinking goblet.

From Christmas gift Murano glass (regalo natale in vetro di murano) to wedding and corporate gifts (regali aziendali), you can consider these masterpieces for many different occasions and create a long-lasting impact on the recipient. OriginalMuranoGlass.com is the online superstore for any wedding, valentine, corporate or Christmas glass gift idea (idea regalo natale vetro) matching your budget.

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 – An Interesting History of Raw Materials Used to Make It

Venice, a city in northeastern Italy, is world-famous for its picturesque location, architecture and of course, artistic glass objects, especially made on the island of Murano. The glassware produced on this island stands above others in terms of the elegance of products, the craftsmanship of glassmakers and the wide variety it offers. As far as the quality of Murano glass is concerned, you can notice exceptional difference in transparency, homogeneity, decolourisation, and range of colours.

Since the beginning of the glassware production in Venice in the ninth century and its subsequent shift to Murano in the thirteenth century, the Venetian glassmaking industry has seen both prosperity and adversity in equal measures. While the industry was at its peak from fifteenth to seventeenth century, there was an era of sharp decline and the following rise in fortunes in centuries thereafter. In the twentieth century as well as in recent times, the art of Italian Murano glass has witnessed a sort of renaissance.

Before delving into the raw materials used in the ancient Murano glassware production, let’s take a look the characteristics of glass that set it apart from other materials, particularly metals. The specialty of glass lies in the manner of its solidification. It gets converted from the liquid state at temperatures as high as 1400 degree Celsius to the solid state very slowly. Due to this long gap during which the glass remains fairly malleable (paste-like), the glass masters are able to create stunning shapes of their choice. In the end, the object will have the rigidity of the solid and the transparency of the liquid at the same time.
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Murano glass is generally obtained from the melting batch or mixture that consists of raw materials, primarily silica sand (around 70% by weight), soda ash and calcium carbonate. Other raw materials that a glassmaker might add to the mixture include sodium to create an opaque glass surface, nitrate and arsenic to get rid of bubbles, and colouring substances. For your information, the materials that facilitate the lowering of temperature are known as ‘fondenti’ (flux or melting agents). The mixture is then introduced in a crucible of refractory material contained in a furnace where a melting cycle is carried out up to a temperature of about 1400 degree Celsius.

Silica

Until the fourteenth century, sand was the primary source of silica. However, this silica source was marred by problems like complicated and variable composition. So, in a quest for better-quality silica source, quartz pebbles took the place of sand from the middle of fourteenth century. These pebbles were particularly sourced from the river Ticino. From the eighteenth century, sand quarries of Istria and Dalmatia (sands of Pula and Lissa) were also used.

Flux

When it comes to the flux or melting agent, the foremost choice had always been Venice soda or sodium carbonate, contained in the ash obtained from the combustion of coastal plants. The ash can be according to the type of plant from which it comes, sodium or potassium. In particular, the ashes used in Venice came from the family of coastal halophytic plants (Salsola kali, Salicornia, etc.). However, to preserve the quality of Murano glass, a decree of the Council in 1306 prohibited the use of the ashes of continental plants such as ferns, owing to their many drawbacks like variations in compositions and greater quantities of colouring agents. Hence, the Venetian glassmaking industry started importing soda ash from Syria and Egypt. The Egyptian import being less pure was used for low-quality glass only. From the seventeenth century, the soda ash was imported from Spain and southern France. In the nineteenth century, the industrial production of artificial soda was begun.

Stabilizer

Until the end of the eighteenth century, glassmakers had no idea of the importance of stabilizers such as calcium carbonate. As a matter of fact, they unintentionally introduced this compound in the batch with the flux. In the ash like the ‘”alum Syria” or “alum bowl”, calcium carbonate was present in percentages almost equivalent to the sodium carbonate.

Cullet

Cullet is actually the glass that is smashed and prepared to be melted again. It is a part of glass recycling process. Even in ancient times, and especially in the Middle Ages, the cullet was widely used by Venetian glassmakers to facilitate the merger. It was largely imported from the East and often recast in the Venetian furnaces.

Other Raw Materials

•    Lead “brusado” was employed to produce the leaded glass. The lead oxide (PbO) was obtained by heating the metallic lead.

•    The “grepola” (tartar barrels) consisting of potassium tartrate was used in small quantities as such or calcined in colored glass or as a flux.

•    Manganese was used as a bleaching agent and in greater quantities as a colorant; the most valuable was the manganese of Piedmont.

Some Raw Materials Used as Colourants

•    Crocco (iron oxide) was used to obtain yellow and green/blue colour in the glass.

•    Ramina red and black (copper oxide) was used for blue, green and red.

•    Manganese was used for violet.

•    Sulfur was used for yellow-amber.

•    Zaffera (mixture of sand and Cobalt oxide) was used for blue.

•    Silver was used for yellow.

•    Gold was used for ruby red.

Some Raw Materials Used as Opacifiers

•    Mixture of lead and tin: Opacifying is obtained by roasting a mixture of lead and tin metal.

•    Animal bones calcined: Opacifying is obtained by calcium phosphate used in the sixteenth century.

The aforesaid raw materials were an integral part of Italian Murano glass production for the last eight centuries. Today, the Venetian glassmaking has gone through several revolutionary changes which will be explained in another post. Till then, you may browse through an amazing selection of genuine Murano glass table lamps, chandeliers, sculptures, vases, plates and jewellery at Originalmuranoglass.com and order some masterpieces at competitive prices from there.