This petite millefiore vase opens like a flower at dawn, with 18k gold leaf sunshine glinting on its petals. It's soulful yet traditional pieces like this for which Maestro Imperio Rossi is celebrated by glass collectors around the world. Each is handmade in Murano, Italy, and signed by the maestro.
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.