The first Venetian glass maker in documentary records is a Benedictine monk, Domenico. In 982 he was described as a fiolario , a maker of phials. At the time Venice was closely allied with the Byzantine Empire politically and as a trading partner. The conquest of Constantinople in 1204 opened up the practices of glass producers in that great imperial city that had been passed down through the centuries from the original Roman glassworkers. By 1255 at Venice there were enough craftsmen to form a guild and blowing techniques were refined, more than anywhere else in Europe. By 1291 glassmakers had become virtual prisoners on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon. Insulated and isolated from contacting those who might divulge production secrets, in this way Venice became the leading source for fine glassware for over three centuries. During this period a high water mark was reached and the Flugelglas became the most extravagant expression of the Venetian style.
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.