Aventurine Glass or avventurina in the original Venetian spelling is a type of glass which was first produced in the 16th Century. Many legends surround the lucky discovery of this type of glass achieved through the suspension of small cristals of copper in glass. These tiny particles shine and appear similar to gold as light traverses the glass making aventurine a great material for us in blown glass and especially in Venetian Glass Beads.
Goldfoil - For the most exquisite decorations, furnaces use 24 carat gold foil sheet which is applied to the glass and then fired in by reheating in the furnace. This type of glass as well as the style of chandeliers and decorations that use it are references to Ca'd'oro, the palace on the Grande Canal in the center of Venice which was originally decorated in gold leaf. It is used often in Ventian wine glasses, goblets and many Venetian beads go by this name but almost always it is found in the classical style of Venetian Glass Chandeliers.
Gloryhole - A barrel shaped furnace heated on all sides by gas jets used for reheating pieces during the blowing process. Many furnaces in Murano use the heat from just above the pots of glass in the furnace.
Fenicio - the technique of applying ribbons of color which are then with an instrument pulled perpendicularly through the ribbons creates waves in the ribbons, today used not only in Murano glass, Venetian beads, but also can be seen in pastries!
Filigrana is a technique very complicated that begins with canes of colored glass prepared on a tray in exact intervals. The glass blower blows a bubble which he elongates to fit the length of the canes and carefully rolls the bubble over the canes. Reheating the canes to melt into the bubble the glassblower twists the bubble while blowing to give a swirl in the colored lines which results in a diamond like shape between the intersections when viewed from the side. An elegant simple design deceptive in its difficulty. Popular in Murano glass lighting and Murano Glass lamps as well as Venetian wine glasses or Murano Glass perfume bottles
Fusion a process of melting glass to a temperature to just the heat where the pieces fuse together but do not run to produce flat pieces. The glass is arranged while cold, often from sheets of glass or millefiori (small slices of canes) and set into kilns. It requires a period to reach the fusion point and a slow cool down to prevent the junctions of the glasses from cracking. Fusion is used in our flat Venetian Glass pendants, or in our Murano glass picture frames or in certain Murano glass paperweights.
Goto - a glass or cup made by each Murano glass maestro for drinking in the furnace, not too tall, stable for sitting on the bench and personalized to be recognizable - and often a bit of a contest and very whimscal.
Lume or lampwork is the tecnhique of working the glass in front of a torch (lumè). Working with the glass canes, lampworkers create miniature animals, figurines, Murano glass candy (caramelle) and best known of course, Murano glass beads.
Maestro - the senior member of a Murano glass blowing team, becoming a Maestro (or literally teacher) requires years of experience and the ability to direct without words the apprentices (serventi) who aid the Maestro in creating the glass masterpieces. There are 4 tipes of Maestro. Maestro of spechi (mirrors), Maestro of supiadi (blown items such as Venetian vases, Venetian drinking glasses, etc), Maestro of cana (making of the canes used so many ways, and Maestro of smalti e rubini (mosiac - like the Salviati firm) .
Millefiori - means thousand flowers in Italian and refers to the slices of Murrina used in producing the mosaic like Venetian vases, pendants and Venetian beads.
Murrìna is the individual slice of a cane whose cross section reveals multiple layers of colors and shapes. These are made in the furnaces of Murano by layering colors of glass, using forms to create the shape, adding layers of color until a large ball is formed. Attaching a pontelo to the other side the two glass blowers walk away from each other and as they do so, the shapes miniaturize preserving their original form. The canes are chopped into small pieces and used in the decorations of a sundry of Murano glass objects, vases, bowls, pendants.
Pontèlo - punti in English is the rod used by the Murano glass blowers to transfer the blown piece from the blow pipe or for sculptured pieces, the rod used to gather the glass and work the item.
Sabbiata - a matte finish to the Venetian glass which is done by sandblasting (sabbia is sand in italian) or by acid etch of the glass. Often used in decorations by masking with tapes the part to remain glossy and used also in Murano glass beadmaking.
Sommerso - the technique where successive layers of color or gold foil and clear glass are applied over a base color. This technique is also used often in Venetian and Murano beadmakers and they often use aventurina as a decoration.
Zanfirico - similar to filigrana, but the color inside the canes is twisted appearing like a twisted ribbon of color, the canes are laid down following the filigrana method for applying to the bubble and blowing. Typical uses are in the Venetian glass lighting, wine glasses, vases, and perfume bottles.