Venetian Glass

Many of the terms used in Venetian glassmaking have a historical significance but are either in Italian, Venetian dialect or stem from a root word. Here is a brief description of some of the most common words:

Aventurina - also sometimes termed "avventurina" or "adventurina"
The art of precipitating copper deposits in glass was a closely-guarded secret which developed in the 17th century. The root of the word is sometimes wrongly ascribed to "avventura" (adventure), rather than the correct "ventura" (fortune or chance), but both give a good idea of the skilled nature of producing consistent pieces.

Calcedonio glass imitates the agate rock (called "calcedonio" in Italian and a type of quartz), with veins of contrasting colour running through the deep-coloured glass. It is produced by mixing colouring agents into a fusion of different types of glass.

A method of infusing lines or grids of colour (originally mainly white) into glass, which is achieved by laying thin rods of clear glass with the desired coloured thread inside next to one another, fusing them together, and then moulding them into a cylinder.

A way to obtain a crackled appearance by lowering the hot glass into cold water and then covering the crackles with another layer of glass, it was produced primarily from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The term comes from the Italian for "ice".

Lattimo refers to a white glass produced in the 15th century to imitate porcelain, using tin and lead. The word originates from "latte" (milk).

Millefiori (thousand flowers) is the technique of stretching and shaping multi-coloured rods. Normally colours are added and a shape is introduced, then the molten glass is stretched until it produces a long thin cane of glass. This can be cut and used as beads or in the production of murrina paperweights, for example.

Murrina refers to the fusing of many pieces of multi-coloured designs (see millefiori above) and then fusing them, often in a metal ring, to form a pendant or a paperweight base. The glass could also be placed in a furnace and blown.

Coloured threads or designs which are then submerged ("sommerso") in a layer of transparent or coloured glass to create a layered effect.

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