The Murano studio of Maestro Mario Costantini is full of wall-to-wall glass sculptures. When our merchandise buyers visited, they both almost bumped into shelves laden with glass sculptures. It was impossible to resist cracking “bull in a china shop” jokes, so when the maestro brought out this millefiori sculpture, they knew it was meant to be. Handmade in Italy and signed by Maestro Costantini., it makes a charming gift for glass collectors, animal lovers, stock market watchers, or your favorite klutz.
The Venetian island of Murano has been home to some of the world's most famous glass studios since the 13th century. Because of the risk of fire, the Venetian government moved all glass studios from the center city to this island where techniques flourished and evolved for more than 700 years in a concentrated community of highly skilled artists. During the Renaissance, Venetian glass was so essential to the economy that glassmakers were forbidden to communicate their techniques to anyone outside of their guild. Some of the original 13th century kilns are still in use today at studios that have passed from maestro to apprentice for centuries.