The creation of Murano glass chandeliers is inspired by a Venetian old tradition. There are traces of this manufacturing in the seventh century B.C., but it is certain that, beginning with the twelfth century, the manufacturing of Murano glass becomes an organized craft. In short time, the island of Murano becomes officially an artisan district of Venice, due to the commercial activity that was able to pledge the Republic.
Angelo Barovier was the first great master glassmaker who, in the fifteenth century simplifies glass manufacturing, significantly improving it with new concepts and techniques. Thanks to him, the blown glasses became thin and neat, the shapes even simpler and easier to decorate with style the houses of rich people throughout Europe.
Glass is a product derived from silica and it is considered to be a high-viscosity liquid and not a solid one, because its internal crystalline structure is not regular. The glass to be found in Venice is soda glass or soda is added to silica in order to allow the fusion at lower temperatures. Subsequently, the calcium carbonate is added as a stabilizer, as well as any other dyes. Due to the high temperatures of the furnace (approximately 1400 degrees), the raw materials are mixed together resulting a paste of hot manufactured ductile glass.
The Murano glass chandeliers are made using the blowing technique, which is a complex art because of the fact that the glass is hand manufactured, being very thin (tenths of a millimetre). The manufacturing takes place at different temperatures, between 800 and 1300, due to the pipes controlled by the Master glassmaker through a pedal and by synergy with his assistant apprentice.
Manufacturing is performed using with great skill iron tools to forge the glass, in order to give it the desired shape, due to the glass blowing. After giving it the final shape, the item is put into a 450 degree oven and left in there for 24 hours for a gradual cooling down, to quench and solidify.
Of all the items that are made of Murano glass, Murrine and the chandeliers are definitely the most famous and peculiar products. Since the Middle Ages, the “Cesendello” has been the most common lighting system in homes and churches. It was comprised of an elongated suspended box, filled with water and oil and equipped with a wick. In the eighteenth century the “cluster” started to be spread all over, the peculiar crystal chandelier with blown glass items decorated with pendants and multi-coloured flowers.
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