• MASTERS OF FILIGREE TECHNIQUE

    Venetian craftsmen were able to make vessels of extraordinary beauty. These were cups decorated with bizarre patterns, images of birds, animals, flowers. They molded from glass, blew it, pressed it, pulled thin threads that seemed to melt into the walls of the vessels.

    Filigree Glass
    Filigree Glass
    Such glass was called filigree. The method of its manufacture was the greatest secret of the Venetians. It is not surprising that even now these beautiful items are carefully stored in museums around the world.

    The government of Venice made big profits from its glass industry. Fearing to lose them, it issued a special law. All glassmakers were ordered to move to the secluded island of Murano. Glass workshops were also transferred there. This was explained by the fact that the work of many glass workshops that appeared in Venice can cause fires in urban neighborhoods.

    But actually, the reason was different. The government was afraid that the art of glass masters would become known to another country and wanted to hide the masters away so that they would not communicate with foreigners visiting Venice.

    Murano Glass
    Murano Glass

    The glass-makers of the island of Murano were granted many privileges. The best masters were awarded the title of nobleman. The marriages of the daughters of glass-makers with the most notable nobles were allowed. Glass masters were declared honorary Venetians.

    But, having received a lot of privileges, they lost the right to communicate with the outside world. Masters could not leave the island and had to stay on it until the end of their days. Not only the escaped, but also his family — his wife, parents, and even children — were responsible for escaping from the island.

    And yet there were daredevils on the island of Murano. They preferred freedom to all privileges. They ran away, taking with them their talent and knowledge, and passed them on to the inhabitants of those countries where they found shelter: Germans, French, Dutch.
  • You might also like