by Maria Laura Berlinguer

MURANO MOUTH-BLOWN GLASS DISTRICT<p>by Maria Laura Berlinguer</p>

Known as the Glass Island, Murano is worldwide famous for a craftsmanship process which has linked the Made in Italy to the art of making everyday glass objects, since the Middle Ages to the present day. Vases, glasses, lamps and home décor in general, turn into works of art thanks to the fantasy of master glassmakers. 

There are few things such as Murano glass able to connect the Italian ancient craftsmanship to design’s suggestions. According to the definition given by Giacomo Becattini, one of the main experts on this economic phenomenon, if industrial districts are areas where “economic systems, historical and cultural heritage, business and personal relations intertwine”, the Murano glass district is just the emblem of it. 

Murano vases and home dècor immediately identify the link between local production, anthropological aspect of work, and culture. The glass industry has always affected the history of Murano community in the past and present. Ever since 20th December 982, date of the most ancient Venetian document proving the existence of a maker of fiole (bottles) in the city, first Europe and then the world have dreamed of exhibiting a Murano glass. 

It is a wave of beauty reaching the whole world from the Venetian Lagoon. It is no coincidence that Roberto Beltrami, who was not born in Murano, got hit by this wave and had to ride it, drawing the name “Wave Murano Glass” from it and settling on the Glass Island to bring his innovative ideas into such a deeply-rooted tradition. The wonderful blown Murano glass vases by Roberto Beltrami, selected by Design Italy, are the quintessence of Vetro Artistico®, the certification guaranteeing the quality of the products made on the island. Beltrami, after a past studying Physics in the US and no family connection with Murano’s tradition, strictly follows the principles of the ancient glassmaking process, but he has enriched them with his desire to experiment. The vases from the “Mass” series are marked by the indelible sign of Murano glass, but it is reimagined in the digital era with new shapes and suggestions.

Murano glass alone is enough to be a piece of home décor. But it is when the art of glassmaking enriches itself with ideas of entrepreneurs as Paola Coin and designers as Aldo Cibic, that home objects are created looking like timeless works of art that, as their creators love saying “encourage the meeting between people”. According to the philosophy of Design Italy, whose selections include the best of Made in Italy, of both tradition and innovation, the collection by Paola C. goes beyond formal design and offers sober and unusual items, suggesting a spontaneous and unconventional use. So the four-piece condiment set for salt, pepper, oil and vinegar is for sure a functional combination to bring everything you need to the table, but without giving up on elegance.Lilì and Lulù together with Tipì and Tidì are blown glass creatures able to tell their stories thanks to their catching beauty which turns the table into a stage where everyone is invited


Murano glass is incandescent matter turned into variegated and light forms by the blow of the glassmaker. In the Jpc Universe vases “GLOME Z by CTRLZAK" chosen by Design Italy, this beauty breath shapes the matter. The Jcp Universe brand says of itself: “inhaling the future, exhaling the past; merging into the flow of time creating the impossible. Stories that make you think on their true meanings, creating invisible worlds”. And it really seems to be staring at new life forms, when one admires these vases where the heavy and the light, the dark and the bright blend.

But as far as one travels, imagines, experiments, there are ancestral symbols and natural forms one always refers back to. The Venetian Lagoon including Murano, its main island which attracted so many international artists to test themselves in the art of glassmaking, is represented in the sculpture by Gianna Moise selected by Design Italy: a fish. Moise is a chemical engineer who, fascinated by molecules and atoms, shaped with Murano glass a creature symbolizing the fusion between the ancient artisanal expertise and the water of the lagoon where the ancient palaces, remnants of the splendor of the powerful maritime republic, wonderfully reflect into.