From Afar Off Venezia

Murano Italian Amberglass Undulating Bowl (LEO Design)

Like a prehistoric, amorphous creature undulating in the murky canals of Venice, this hand-crafted glass bowl began its life just outside of Venice—on the complex of glass-making islands called Murano.  This series of tightly-packed islands is connected by bridges and lies less than a mile north of Venice-proper.  It was originally settled by the Romans—perhaps fleeing conflict on the Italian Mainland—in the Second Century A.D.  Today some 5,000 people call Murano home.

Venice has a long history of glassmaking—first imitating ancient Egyptian glasswares, then those of the ancient Romans.  Venice was known for its beads, mirrors and, in time, its elegant chandeliers.  But the threat of fire was always a source of anxiety for Venetians who lived in wood-framed buildings.  So, in 1291, Venice forced the relocation of all glass-making workshops to Murano where the threat of fire could be contained. The glassmaking continued and, at one point, Murano was the leading glassmaker for the rest of Europe.

The Murano amber glass bowl above, made in the 1950’s or 1960’s, has all of the spontaneous and artful hallmarks of Venetian glass—not to mention the ever-present reminders of the waters which surround it at creation.  Please come into the shop to see it or call us for further information about it.


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