A number of things have happened lately to make me realize that consumers are confused when we say that we use glass rods which are manufactured in Murano and Venice, Italy. Most people are aware that the island of Murano has had a reputation for many centuries of producing the finest glass and Murano glass products are sought after throughout the world.

In 1291, the mayor of Venice, Italy ordered that all glass factories move to the island of Murano to prevent harmful factory fires from affecting Venice. Since then, Murano glass has developed a reputation for beauty and color. Murano glass is first identified by its location, then its factories, and finally its designers. You can identify these sources with a certificate of authenticity, a master glass maker signature or a Murano glass catalog.

The following are master glass makers from Murano: Ercole Barovier, Archimede Seguso, Aureliano Toso, Galliano Ferro, Vincenzo Nason, Alfredo Barbini, and Carlo Moretti. There are many more master glass makers that worked at Murano glass factories over the years.

This is a short extract from designboom.com where there is a long article on the Moretti family:

“carlo moretti was born in murano in 1934, and he lived in venice, with his wife bruna matteotti in an apartment overlooking the rooftops and canals adjacent to the rialto bridge, till his sudden death, on may 30th, 2008. after having graduated in classical studies he enrolled in law school but, lured by the irresistible call of his own family’s patrimony – murano crystal glass – in 1958 he founded, together with his brother giovanni, the carlo moretti firm, where he was mainly responsible for the design and production of the firm’s artifacts. during the 80s he animated the creation of a number of consortiums on the island of murano and, in particular, the establishment of the island’s museum of contemporary glass. carlo moretti has been acknowledged with numerous prizes and international rewards, and has been invited to hold conferences on his work in cultural and art institutions worldwide.”

Lampworkers around the world are not allowed to label or stamp their products as “MURANO GLASS”. We advise clients that at STUDIO 44 MAURITIUS 95% of our beads are made from glass rods manufactured in the factory of Moretti-Effetre. However, the fact that clients see our beads being made by me here in our Mauritius studio, which forms part of our shop, also makes it clear that it is manufactured locally is not “MURANO GLASS” made in Murano, Italy, but is made from glass rods produced the factories in Murano and Venice.

I suppose its a bit like the fact that one may not use the terms “Pandora”, “Roquefort” or “champagne” for marketing purposes either as these are also Trademarks for particular products.

Unfortunately many fake products are being sold on the island of Murano itself, none of which have ever seen the inside of a Murano glass factory! These are being illegally stamped as “MURANO GLASS” and are destroying the livelihood of genuine Italian born lampworkers and glass blowers. It is sad that the Italian Government does not do more to stamp out this practice.

When I first started lamp working, I was using Moretti glass rods. You will notice the name of Carlo Moretti amongst the master glass makers mentioned above. However, Moretti is now marketing under the name Effetre.  I use Effetre for around 95% of my beads. However, due to a lack of certain colors – especially the colors of the lagoon here in Mauritius where I live, I am forced to look to other manufacturers to fill this gap. Effetre also do not specialize in the SILVER COLOURS and frits which give such a beautiful metallic and range of oil slick type of color to my beads.

The glass industry has grown and we lampworkers around the world are continually looking for new colors, new effects and new ideas to use in the creation of their beads. The technology of glass is no longer limited to Venice and there are manufacturers around the world producing top quality glass, Murrini, etc.

The DOUBLE HELIX factory produces the most beautiful colors of glass giving the oil slick colors. CIM produces the most beautiful colors which are exactly the colors I see in the lagoon of Roches Noires here on the north east coast of Mauritius. These are used in around 5% of the beads I make as the glass is very expensive.

There is also Zephyr, Reichenbach, Divardi and many other makes which I have not yet had the pleasure of trying. I tend to stick to one supplier as is more economical to purchase everything under one roof.

The top lamp workers in the world use a range of glass from different manufacturers producing top quality glass in countries around the world. Perhaps in the future I shall have time to try out some of the many other makes of glass, but most of these are more expensive and with the freight, duty and VAT payable on glass imports to Mauritius, we are happy to stick with what we know and love for the moment. Perhaps one day the Mauritian Government will assist us by removing the VAT we pay on the freight and the raw materials which would help us a lot. Here in Mauritius too, cheap glass beads are being imported from China and sold as “Murano” glass and there is nothing we can do about it!!!

I hope that this will help you to understand what is meant by “MURANO GLASS”.  We can  assure you that the glass we use is Effetre 90%, Vetrofond 2%, CIM 5% and DOUBLE HELIX 3%. All of this glass is top quality and our beads go through an ANNEALING cycle in a special kiln to ensure hardness and to give a quality that will last a lifetime. We have been honored to be awarded the trademark “made in moris” which in itself is a guarantee of quality, after sales service and approval of our production methods and ethics of STUDIO 44 MAURITIUS.

Thank you for reading this article. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to address them to me, Barbara on contact@studio44mauritius.com.

Author: Studio44Mauritius

My passion is lamp working (flame working). I use rods of Italian glass which I melt in the flame to produce my glass beads which are used in our jewelry, cutlery, keyring, etc. Studio 44 Mauritius, The Craft Centre, Cap Malheureux Road, Calodyne. Website: http://www.studio44mauritius.com.

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