After centuries of theoretical and practical studies, as a result of countless attempts and slow conquests, Murano glass-masters have succeeded, through the development of a particular chemical structure and of tools specifically devised to facilitate their work, to obtain the greater malleability of Murano glass. Origianl Murano glass is characterized by the presence of greater quantities of carbonates and nitrates, such as sodium and potassium carbonate: these chemical elements allow for the glass to melt at lower temperatures and – most importantly- to solidify slowly, giving the glass-master more time to shape his objects. For these same reasons, Murano glass does not contain relevant percentages of lead, as this mineral would turn the glass too rigid (and therefore less malleable) for hand-blowing and -shaping. On the contrary, leaded glass is widely used in industrial glass-factories to obtain the typical gloss and transparency associated to machine-made or machine-assisted glass.
The wide range of colors achievable with Murano glass is the result of empirical and theoretical studies carried over the centuries and jealously guarded — very unlike industrial colors that, often protected by official patents, become a common knowledge. In addition, colors such as yellow, ruby and red are particularly hard to obtain, due to the (minimum) deployment of cadmium: for instance, by modifying the percentage of minerals used and the processing time, different shades will result. This peculiarity makes original Murano glass even more unique, since each object is characterized by hues that may be exclusive and not always perfectly replicable.