Legendary for its long tradition of glassmaking, Murano, Italy may be one of the most well recognized glassmaking centers in the world.
The process of making Murano glass is rather complex. Most Murano glass art is made using the lampworking technique. The glass is made from silica, which becomes liquid at extremely high temperatures. Melting agents called flux, are added to the glass to help slow the solidification process.  As the glass passes from a liquid to a solid state, there is an interval wherein the glass is soft before it hardens completely, allowing the artisan to shape the material.  Other raw materials are added to the glass to produce various effects; sodium to make glass surfaces opaque, nitrate and arsenic to eliminate bubbles, along with a variety of coloring and texturing materials, depending upon the desired effect.

Many glassmaking techniques have been developed and refined in Murano over the centuries. Amongst many others these include:
  • Inclamo - Many different colored glass pieces are fused together to form a single piece while the glass is pliable
  • Avventuria - Metal flecks are embedded in clear glass to reflect light, using copper or other metal oxides to create a shimmery, metallic look.
  • Filigrana - Pieces are created with an opaque white or colored glass core, using glass rods fused together, then blown and shaped by the artist. Three patterns include Mezza Filigrana (single filament rods), Reticello (diamond pattern created by twisting two halves of a glass piece in opposite directions during heating), Retortoli (two filaments twisted into a spiral shape).