Abate Zanetti Scuola Del Vetro


Angela van der Burght

The tradition of glassworking in Murano, place where families hand down, from generation to generation, glass recipes, techniques and secrets inimitable by any other glassworker in the world, after more than one thousand years, is taught by very skilled glass masters, descendants of the same families keeping jealously the secrets, who decide to spread their precious knowledge going out of the lagoon boundary and looking for a necessary comparison with the international reality.

Posted 22 July 2015

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The historical roots of glass art have to be searched here, in Murano and the Abate Zanetti Glass School is a place to learn its techniques.
The place is a magnificent building of the 30’s, an example of archaeological industry, perfectly restored maintaining its original style. It is equipped with big rooms for facilities, a hall for lectures, garden, internet-point with wi-fi, cafeteria and library: all this at students’ disposal.

Lampworking studio

The Glass studio of the School is equipped in order to develop all the typical Murano techniques like glassblowing and solid working. The glassblowing technique aims to realize objects like glasses, in particular the Venetian goblet, plates and vases. Different types of decorations are applied, developing complex techniques such as filigree “à la façon de Venise” (zanfirico), reticella filigree, pick-up canes and murrina, and incalmo. Solid working enables to realize sculptures, artistic objects and objects of design.

Conference hall


Drawing room

The workshops offer the possibility to deepen, according to preference, one of the techniques that are furnace, fusing and lampworking.
It enables to create many different objects and works of art using different types of glass: the glass sheet can be modelled, at high temperatures, into various forms, for example, little pieces of murrine, frit, wires and sticks. The use of oxides and enamels will give birth to “paintings” with unexpected chromatic and three-dimensional effects. Fusing enables to create stained glass, objects, gifts items, sculptures-plates and costume jewellery with a lot of paintings interventions. Starting from colourless glass and working on various superimposed layers on the same object, a complex of contrasting colours or a shading sequence of colours is obtainable.

Author: Mauro Bonaventura
Technique: lampworking
Glass works realized at the Abate Zanetti Glass School, in permanent exposition at the School.
Date: 2006

The studio is equipped with comfortable work benches with methane gas and oxygen flames for lampworking for the traditional Venetian bead making. The studio has exhaust fans to clean air efficiently, an annealing kiln and all the necessary tools for small glass blowing and lampwork murrine. This is an ancient second-stage working technique, used in Venice since the Renaissance and developed then from the XVIII the century on. Semi-worked glass rods of different diameter and thickness are first softened by the heat of a horizontal flame fed by methane gas and oxygen, then shaped with the help of small tools, making figurines. Beads are made by softening a glass rod covered with detaching material. Through the lampworking technique, sculptures, figures, jewellery, drop earrings, rings can be created. The mixture of methane gas and air and the consequent lower temperature allows more delicate decorations, typical of Venetian bead. Both the typical Murano soda-calcium glass rod and the borosilicate glass rod called Pirex, can be used in the blown lampworked glass.

Hot glasworking shop

Author: Vittorio Ferro
Description: blue and crystal glass vase blown in the hot shop with avventurina flower hot application
Glass work realized at the Abate Zanetti Glass School, in permanent exposition at the School.
Date: 2002

The School teachers have a personal resume of a years long experience in Murano glass techniques. The majority of them come from Murano and are descendants of old and prestigious families of glass masters.
Next to a theoretical part with visit to glass museum, Students will learn how to gather glass from the furnace (first pick up), to fix up the nucleus of the glass object, then to pick up later and give a first shape to the glass mass, to prepare a punty for the junction, give glass to the master, up to realization, first helped by others and then by oneself, of simple objects such as a glass or a bowl. Students, after having received information about equipment and safety, will be introduced to the techniques.
The School is available for any further information for individual and group courses regarding any glass technique or correlated to the world of glass, such as decorations, design, drawing, photography etc.
Scuola del Vetro Glass School Abate Zanetti
Calle Briati 8/B
I-30141 Murano Venezia
+39 041 2737711

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