We went to Murano today.
Murano is a series of islands close to Venice that are famous for their glass making. Craftsmen have been making glass by hand for over 700 years. While there, we found a lot of shops that were selling glass items, but later, we found out that not all glass being sold in Murano is Murano glass. Because it is often replicated, there are certificates to show that a shop is selling authentic Murano glass. Individual pieces may have a stamp showing it was made in Murano.
Before this expedition, we had been told that there were factories where we could watch how they make the glass pieces. After looking in a couple of shops, we found a factory open to the public.
This factory has two master glass blowers. One had started as an apprentice when he was just 11 years old. It was amazing to watch a glob of goo on the end of a metal pole become a horse standing on its hind legs in less than five minutes.
The experience of seeing it made and talking to industry professionals gave me a better understanding of the skills and talents needed, along with the burns and scars accumulated over the years of learning to be a master.
Walking into the gift shop from the hot, dirty workshop was one thing, but walking into showrooms was like walking into a different world. I was awestruck by the colors, shapes and designs of the objects displayed before my eyes. The variety and quantities alone were incredible. The grandeur of each room the guide took us through was endless, and just when I thought that we had seen it all, we would step into another room full of beauty that left me speechless.
A unique feature with the larger pieces is that they come apart to make both transport and repair easier. If a piece breaks, you only have to disconnect the broken piece from the main portion and replace it with a new piece.
I couldn’t walk out of there without taking a piece of this magnificent craftsmanship to remind me of the enormous beauty that comes from this small island city.