Murano glass is one of the most renowned crafts worldwide which are produced by Venetian glass experts. This over thousand-year-old craft is exclusive to the Venice Island, Murano. This glass is very versatile and can be used for decorative and functional purposes. Italian Murano glass gifts, jewellery, ornaments, figurines and glassware are among the few popular items available in this style.
As stated in its name, Murano glass can only be made in Venice, Italy, despite speculation as to whether it is made in China. Buying genuine Murano doesn’t mean purchasing in Italy, many items have been hand selected and imported to different places all over the world, including popular seaside town Llandudno, North Wales.
However, throughout the world there are artisans who try to replicate these techniques; but, the items they produce aren’t genuine Murano. Many online marketplaces have thousands of sellers with non-Murano pieces disguised by calling them Murano-style for liability reasons. There are many ways to recognise and identify genuine Murano pieces, so you know how to avoid the fakes.
Here are a few tips you can follow to see if you are buying the real deal.
- Does the surface have a slightly uneven surface and appear to be handmade – are there others that look identical?
- Make sure to look out for identification – is there any markings or stickers?
- Does there include any certification of authenticity with the item?
- Is the seller reputable – do they sell other Murano glass items?
When weighing up a reputable seller take into consideration whether they are genuine, some sellers sell imitation Murano as well as real Murano. Sellers like these still maintain fantastic quality throughout their pieces with authentic Italian style. It’s sellers of different types of products that you need to look out for.
All Murano glass is handmade using very traditional ancient Roman techniques and recipes that have been passed from generation to generation. Murano master craftsmen were the first in the world to discover the art of glass blowing, moulds, small flame and turned glass making.
Italian Murano Jewellery is often made by small flame, known as “a lume”, from special pre-made glass canes. Three main techniques are used including, Millefore, Lattimo and Bullicante. The Millefore technique creates amazing mosaic style designs, whilst the Lattimo sees a milky opaque design, and the Bullicante regularly seeing bubble patterns.
Each design is unique and although very beautiful all items can vary because they are individually hand made. Some features of Murano glass include small air bubbles, inevitably made by the craftsmen when blowing glass and layering. Look out to see if there is a Pontil mark where the craftsman finishes the piece by breaking the Pontil rod. This is usually found at the bottom of glasswork.
These small imperfections make Murano glass unique, but if you prefer an absolutely perfect produced product then Murano glass isn’t for you.