The technique of fusing glass is one of the oldest in Murano glass work. The earliest records, dating back to 2000 BC, provide evidence relating to the Egyptians and the Romans and the production of fused glass objects, mainly vases, plates and jewellery. Over time this technique was joined, and almost replaced in some periods, by glass blowing; the two methods have coexisted for decades, however, and are used depending on the objects to be produced. Today, fusing is still a rather complex technique that can only be performed by skilled craftsmen, capable of controlling the many variations involved in the process (temperature, colour and consistency changes, glass assembly, etc.).
What is the fusing technique? Glass is melted at high temperatures in special furnaces, during the process oxides and other materials are used to create colour, transparency and enamel effects. This is the stage at which the skill of the artisan is apparent, playing with the colours, substances and designs to create the final decoration. Different types of glass are melted at temperatures close to 900 degrees celsius and are then assembled in such a way as to create the decorations; expert knowledge of the types of glass and their characteristics is crucial to obtaining a desired final effect, as is the ability to cut glass in a regular and uniform manner.
But the real secret of the technique is being able to create the decoration that was designed in the planning stage during the cooking process, because the oven temperature causes changes in the appearance and colour of the glass. Often, a transparent glass is used as a base to which several pieces of other types of glass are applied to make the final decoration.