Stained Glass in Italy
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Pollux_Parker/529233]Pollux Parker
Glassmaking was an elite interest in the island of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon by craftsmen. This island was known to be a commercial port since the 7th century and by the 10th century it became a trading center with its own currency, law enforcement officers and commercial aristocracy. In 1291, the Republic bid the glassmakers to move to Murano as it is a fire danger in Venice. Their popularity rose immediately and soon they were able to enjoy privileges given to chosen people such as the right to wear swords and immunity from prosecution and during the late 14th century, even the daughters of glassmakers were permitted to intermarry with the blue-blooded families. However, there was a catch-they cannot leave the Republic.
Murano glassmakers are special due to a number of things: first, they are among the few who are able to make glass mirrors. Next, they cultivated skills such as enamelled glass, crystalline glass, multi-coloured glass, glass with thread of gold, milk glass and glass imitation of gemstones. They dominated the industry until other countries from the Northern and Central Europe came in to introduce their own techniques.
The island still exports traditional products like glassware and mirrors and the factories also produce modern figurines, lampshades and chandeliers. The shops there still sell various everyday items such as glass beads or jewelry, wrapped hard candies of multicoloured glass, paperweights, transparent glass aquariums and other knickknacks. They also have galleries and showrooms open which are sophisticated and also both artistic and technically stunning.
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Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Stained-Glass-in-Italy&id=5275685] Stained Glass in Italy