Venetian Glass and Renaissance Pictionary

Renaissance Unit Study

Week 15: We made Venetian Glass.

Secrets of glass making in Italy were closely guarded and still are today. During the middle ages sand was the main ingredient of glass making. The results were thick, cloudy, heavy but functional pieces. The Venetians replaced sand with quartz with great success. Venetian glass was delicate and light, and the first to be referred to as crystal.

Throughout the Renaissance Venetian glass making technology improved. It progressed from one color glass decorated with enamel paint during the 15th century, to multi-color glass mixes complete with textures and interesting shapes during the 16th century, and the 17th century saw the addition of heart shaped handles added to the stems of pots and bowls.

Today Italians on the island of Muran specialize in Murano Glass. Millefiori comes in extruded rods with floral shapes in the cross-section. When the rods are cut, much the same way a cookie log is sliced to make cookies, the result is a small coin shaped piece of glass which contains a flower decoration. When the pieces are laid side-by-side and melted, they become bowls, plates and lampshades.

Our Venetian glass was made with plastic beads.

 Aluminum foil was pressed into an empty jar lid to serve as the frame.

 The foil was filled with beads.

 The completed designs were placed into an oven.

The smell was horrible and this oven was dedicated to crafts (not cooking). It was portable and was placed outside for this activity.

Small holes were drilled into the finished "glass" so they could be used as sun catchers.

Renaissance Pictionary
The kids reviewed their Renaissance history by playing Pictionary.

Here's a list of some of the things they drew.
Bow Drill
Leonardo Fibonnacci
Diamond Engravings
The David
Sistine Chapel
Medici Bank
Alum and Pepper
Venetian Cloth
The Birth of Venus
Vitruvian Man
Praying Hands

1 comment:

  1. I love the colorful projects you made together! Pictionary is a fun way to review any topic! We also do charades and the ABC game (I'm thinking of an artist who starts with D, etc.)


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