Muranology, the first on line glossary about Murano Glass from A to Z: Letter L
Welcome back to Muranology! After the letter “I” and the Incalmo technique, it has come the time to skip directly to “L”, because J (as joule) and K (as the chemical symbol of potassium) at the present moment, are not a priority in our glossary. So, “Keep Incalmo and enjoy the L, like Lattimo”.
Yes, we just love to make jokes with the words, and the students of Italian language knows that an apostrophe might make a big difference in the meaning: l’attimo is the “moment” (cogli l’attimo> carpe diem > seize the day!) while Lattimo is undoubtedly the white-opaque glass. Anyway, l’attimo (the moment, the timing) remains a key factor when the Lattimo is prepared and processed (sculpted, blown, cooled, etc.), as well as with all the other kind of glasses (transparent or coloured) and techniques. Apostrophe or not (l’attimo o lattimo) today it seems impossible to go totally off topic!
Why the white glass is called Lattimo instead of “bianco”/“white”?
Because it is as white as the milk – “latte”, in Italian, and we bet that you will hardly find a Country in the World where people use so many terms referred to the colours and their shades as in Italy!
What are the formulas of Lattimo glass?
In order to obtain a white-opalescent opaque glass, a blend of silicates, lead and pond is required, but every furnace has its own secret formula. Every lattimo will be finally unique.
Does the Lattimo glass have any specific field of application?
No, the lattimo is just a white-opalescent glass. It can be used in many different ways, from murrina “millefiori” to vases and plates or in the typical “fazzoletto incamiciato” – “bicolour handkerchief”, and much more. The transparent glass with white (single or “retortoli”) filigrane canes and the imitations of the Chinese porcelain are the typical products made with lattimo glass, since the XV-XVI century.
Why the l’attimo could be also considered a “troublemaker” during the Serenissima Republic?
In 1457 the brothers Jacopo and Bono D’Angelo obtained by the Council of X the privilege of producing “porcelain-glass”. Few years later, we have the lattimo glass items mentioned as “counterfeit porcelain” in several documents. Murano will be soon famous also for the “chinoiserie”.
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