Murano beads are intricately crafted glass beads. These beautiful beads are heavily influenced by world-famous Venetian glass artists.
These beads are only made in one place – the island of Murano in Italy.
The phrase ‘glass beads’ does not sufficiently convey the craftsmanship that goes into creating these miniature artworks. While these beads are technically glass, they are not the mass produced items that many are used to. Each of the beads is handcrafted by a glass artisan in a process that takes several days to complete. The processes involved in creating Murano beads have been used and improved since 1291.
In order to create Murano beads colour canes have to be compiled. These colour canes are incredibly delicate chemical compounds. In order to create a stable version of the correct colour the artists need to know the exact chemical ‘recipe’ for each and they must be mixed with absolute accuracy. Colours like aquamarine require a precise mix of copper and cobalt. Whereas, shades of red require a gold solution. All of this work needs to happen before the construction of a single bead can begin.
Once all the colour canes have been created the beads can finally be formed. Every single bead is hand created using techniques passed down over centuries. However, it not just glasswork skills that are at play during this process. The artist is also consider the colour composition of the finished overall art piece that will be created. For anyone who has ever tried to create multiples of the same item will know, absolute uniformity is a rare quality in handmade items. But such is the skill of a Murano glassworker.
Murano beads are often formed using the ‘lamp-work’ method. This is the most time consuming of all methods though it affords the most control over the final product. Heat is applied using a torch and glass rods and tubes are heated to a molten state and then formed into the desired shape. Along the way, the artist will add aesthetic elements such as colour (from the colour canes) as well as silver and gold leaf. The bead is then cooled gradually before further handling.
The higher price and desirability of Murano Glass can be attributed to this incredibly laborious and rare crafting method. No other place on earth has a history as rich as that of the Murano glass factories.
The above information is created to give customers an introductory level of knowledge regarding Murano Glass Beads, however, a single page of information cannot convey everything there is to know about Murano glass. If you would like to know more about Murano glass, or where to find authentic pieces, talk to one of our friendly team today!