FT: The production line may be 700 years old, but there's nothing more modern than Murano glass

The Observer - BY TAMSIN BLANCHARDIn the Museo Vetraio in Murano, a short vaporetto ride from Venice, there's a table decoration the size of a small boat.

The centrepiece is a detailed representation of a formal 18th-century garden, complete with hundreds of perfectly made trees, flowers, and bridges. What makes it incredible is that it is all hand-blown, in glass. Everything in the museum - from the brightly coloured Chihuly sculpture at the entrance to the grand, multicoloured chandeliers - is made from glass, all blown on the island by families who have passed their art from generation to generation.
Originally, Venetian glass was made - as you would imagine - in Venice, but the workshops were moved to Murano in 1291, when the industry was declared a fire hazard. By then, the island's colourful, fancy glass had already become a symbol of affluence, collected by the royal families of Europe, and protected and revered by the Grand Council of Venice, which decreed that master craftsmen were forbidden to leave in case their secrets went with them.
These days, the island is its own micro-economy, with tourists tempted out on free water buses, paid for by the glass factories who hope to sell a few gaudy trinkets in return. There are whole zoos of glass animals, caramelli , dolphins, more Mickey Mouse figures than even Walt Disney would have wanted, ashtrays, scent bottles, beads, and other bits of glassy tack, designed to fill the gap for presents and souvenirs for the folks back home....more information on the source link.

600450 FT: The production line may be 700 years old, but there's nothing more modern than Murano glass glassonweb.com

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