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Majolica is glazed pottery often associated with certain regions of Italy, although it also is produced in other parts of the world. The name majolica was derived from Majorca, the port from which majolica originally was traded. Italian majolica and italian ceramics are world renowned because of their master craftsmanship and durability.

Italy has a long-standing tradition in the production of ceramics and pottery dating back to the 13th century. During the Renaissance, a small town in Umbria called Deruta, made use of the special clay from the Umbrian hills to establish itself as the center for the production of majolica and italian pottery. The superior majolica produced at this time, gained respect as an art form, even though many pieces were intended for everyday use. The majolica tradition continues in Deruta today, as well as in other parts of Italy.

From start to finish, all of Sberna’s italian ceramics are made by hand. Our artists extensively research forms, designs, and recipes from the Renaissance and continually are inspired by old designs to create new majolica patterns and forms. The technique used in producing Italian ceramics, however, has been passed down from generation to generation and can be summarized in four steps:

To begin, the artist cleans the clay to eliminate impurities. The clay then is shaped by skilled hands into various forms, usually on the potters’ wheel. The forms then are dried and fired for the first time. The cooled form is dipped in a mineral oxide bath, creating a white opaque background on which the designs may be precisely painted, without the risk of the glazes bleeding into one another. The mineral oxide base distinguishes majolica from other ceramics and creates the intensity of color for which Italian majolica is known. The glazes are mixed according to old recipes and the form then is hand painted, often by free hand and always meticulously, for mistakes cannot be corrected. The painted form is fired for a second time, this time for up to 24 hours. This second firing gives the piece the luster that authenticates genuine majolica.

Welcome to the world of Murano Glass collecting! Murano glass has a lot to offer the collector, a long lineage of artists dating back to the 12th century to the current maestri living and working in Murano, Venice.

Where do I Start? 

One of the best ways to learn about Murano Glass is to visit a collection or search the web, and do some research on the Internet about the pieces and styles of Murano Glass that you find most attractive. Search your desires and figure what types of glass you like, traditional or more modern art inspired? Is there a particular artist or style of glass working that you admire? Do you like millefiori? Paperweights? Figurines? Glassware for the table? One of the appeals of glass collecting in general is the many unique and ingenious methods used to create different designs and effects. After a short while you should be able to ascertain which type of design or technique of glass working you favor and move your collection in that direction!

Buying Murano Glass

It is always best to buy authentic Murano Glass pieces, as they are more valuable, and it’s always nice
to know that your piece was created with care by the Italian masters. Unfortunately much of the Murano Glass on the internet is “Murano Style” which generally, means that it was made somewhere other than Murano, usually in Asia or Brazil. Authentic Murano Glass is a much higher quality, and after growing used to collecting Murano glass, you will be able to identify authentic Murano Glass at a glance.

However, over the Internet, things are often not what they seem, and you cannot easily inspect the item you are interested in. What it comes down to is the reputation and honest of the retailer. Have they been selling Murano glass for a while? Do they have a good reputation? Do they sell only Murano glass or a little of everything, including Murano Glass? How long have they been in business? Do they offer any type of return policy?

My Italian Decor sells one hundred percent made in Italy, hand-painted in Murano, this is a special piece that will make an extraordinary gift for yourself or another.

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