Friday, August 26, 2011

Mid-Century Modern Murano Art Glass- Centuries of Beauty Evolved

Mid-Century Modern Murano Glass
Mid-century modern Murano art glass continues to be highly collectable into the 21st century. This is not surprising knowing its long history of innovative techniques in design. 

Have you ever wondered where this beautiful collectable mid-century modern Murano art glass got its beginnings? Although this form of art glass reached a high in popularity during the mid-century modern era, it's history reaches far back to 10Th century Italy when the Venetian Islands of Italy became well known for their glass makers.

As the cities grew, so did the concern for the safety of the many wooden structures in the cities. They were at high risk of fire due to the multitudes of glass making in the cities. By 1291 the Venetian Republic ordered that glass makers move their foundries to the island of Murano to avoid this risk. Glass making in Murano continued to grow as an occupation, and by the end of the 16Th century over a third of Murano's inhabitants were involved in the glass making industry in some manner.

Innovation grew with them over the centuries of being together in this tight community of glass makers. These innovations became what set Murano apart and ahead of any other place known for glass making well into the 20th century.

Mid-century Modern Aquamarine Large Snifter
Aventurine Murano Bowl
Techniques of color like the beautiful aquamarine were developed through the use of copper and cobalt compounds. Ruby red was developed by using a gold solution and glass with threads of gold, aventurine. These have all become mainstays in what Murano glass is known and desired for. 

Gold Fleck Aventurine Technique

Mid- Century Murano Glass Label

Another very popular technique which involved the layering of colored liquid glass became known as millefiori. This is when each layer of molten color is molded into a star, cooled and then layered again. This type of murrine has the appearance of many flowers when sliced. (Mille "thousand", fiori "flowers") The many paperweights of the mid-century modern era made during this time with this design are still highly collectable today.

Millefiori Murano Glass Paperweight
Full View Of Millefiori Murano Glass  Paperweight

Sommero or "sunken glasses" is the technique of creating layers by dipping the object in molten glass. The outermost layer of glass, or casing, is usually clear. This method was not developed until the late 1930's, and it became most popular in the 1950's by the Murano glass artist Seguso d' Arte.

Seguso Vetri d' Arte working in his studio
Collectors Guide to Seguso Murano Glass

Large Murano Glass paperweight In the manner of Seguso
Murano Italy sticker not always found on Murano pieces

Mid- Century Modern Murano Sommero Style Dish
Sommero Murano Glass Attributed to designer Flavio Poli (1900-1984), principle designer for Seguso d' Arte during the mid-century modern era

There are a multitude of styles to choose from in Murano glass of the mid-century modern era to suit any design style. The development of so many interesting design techniques during this era make this glass great to collect to accessorize your modern design furniture and other decor. These wonderful pieces can be enjoyed for decades and centuries to come.


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