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Article: An impossible love...Murano(Venetian) Glass

murano island venice italy

An impossible love...Murano(Venetian) Glass

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t was love at first sight when I first saw my mother's Murano glass necklace. Those olive beads flecked with gold caught my eye and insisted forever more that colour must remain a primary focusin my jewellery design.

The versatility of glass makes an exciting statement in fine jewellery, which is always seeking colour and form away from traditional diamonds and precious gems. The endless possiblities of Murano glass in remains delicously seductive despite its technical challenges.


"Glass makers were treated like royalty but were never allowed to leave Murano"

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1291 the glass makers were ordered to move their furnaces to the island of Murano a short boat trip away from Venice to reduce the fire risk to the many wooden buildings.

After the 13th Century, Murano came under the jurisdiction of the Venetian mayor, bInut continued to have its own Grand Council. Exports flourished from the 14th Century as the Renaissance took hold with exports reaching peak splendour in the 16th Century. Murano's reputation for opulence & splendour quickly diminished its utilitarian character and it became a fully fledged art form.

The glassmakers were forbidden to emigrate from Venice on threat of confiscation of all their possessions. However some did manage to flee setting up factories in Northern Europe.

Today there are still many glass factories exporting canes, frits(granules), powders & finished Murano objects worldwide. its history and wares have become a prominent drawcard for tourists.


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esigners like Elizabeth Locke have been significant influences in bringing venetian glass into fine jewellery creating pieces that are have become highly collectable.

At Vermilion, the glass arrives as canes and its molten form is shaped into organic forms and then set into precious metals. Although glass is technically fragile, slow soaking in a kiln over many hours allows the glass to become resilient and strong enough to cope with everyday use. 

Time consuming and labour intensive, the glass elements in Vermilion jewellery are distinctively our own & unchallenged by mass production.

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