Venice and glass

A centuries-old love story

Who invented glass?

In ancient Egyptian times, around 5000 BC, a process of producing “pasta vitrea” was developed by heating the silica (the desert sand used to cover stones which were pierced and then sold and traded) in the fire.

It seems that Phoenicians were the ones who discovered this material. One night, while they were lighting a fire on the beach, they found drops of glass which had formed from the fire and the sand and the silica. They also invented the technique of blowing glass and perfected its composition.

Glass art in the Venetian Republic

The Venetian Republic, whose power during the first millennium AD extended over a broad region, maintained commercial ties with different populations of the Mediterranean, and managed to import this particular art to its capital, Venice, where expert masters dedicated themselves to its craft.

In 1100 AD it was necessary to move the furnaces to the island of Murano because of the risk of fires. This is how the fame of Murano was born and grew as families still hand down, from generation to generation, recipes and secret formulas that nobody in the world was able to match.

Murano was quickly transformed into the glass capital of the world, inseparably linked to glass from that moment on.

Chemical composition of glass

Glass is an inorganic material which is hard, fragile, transparent and amorphous, used to make a great variety of products. Glass come from the fusion at 1500° C of silica sand, soda ash and limestone. There are endless types of glass, depending on the desired use and the many different colors of Murano glass come from the addition of minerals to the base composition.