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Photographer's Note

While visiting Murano, we had the opportunity to see a glassmaker at work. It was amazing to see how quickly he was able to create something so special and unique out of virtually nothing. At this particular moment, I was able to capture him pulling a horse out of the molten glass.

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The center for glassmaking from the 14th century was the island of Murano, which developed many new techniques and became the center of a lucrative export trade in dinnerware, mirrors, and other luxury items. What made Venetian Murano glass significantly different was that the local quartz pebbles were almost pure silica, and were ground into a fine clear sand that was combined with soda ash obtained from the Levant, for which the Venetians held the sole monopoly. The clearest and finest glass is tinted in two ways: firstly, a small or large amount of a natural coloring agent is ground and melted with the glass. Many of these coloring agents still exist today; for a list of coloring agents, see below. Black glass was called obsidianus after obsidian stone. A second method is apparently to produce a black glass which, when held to the light, will show the true color that this glass will give to another glass when used as a dye. [51]

The Venetian ability to produce this superior form of glass resulted in a trade advantage over other glass producing lands. Murano’s reputation as a center for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire might burn down the city’s mostly wood buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291. Murano's glassmakers were soon the island’s most prominent citizens. Glassmakers were not allowed to leave the Republic. Many took a risk and set up glass furnaces in surrounding cities and as far afield as England and the Netherlands.

(Wikipedia)

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Viewed: 1892
Points: 24
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Additional Photos by Ashley Sch (loves_summer) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 250 W: 3 N: 215] (1310)
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