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Ironwork and glass

A valiant knight
  Assuming the role of a valiant medieval knight, proudly wearing his helmet,...
The light from the glass!
The work of the glassmaker is somehow complementary to that of the blacksmith....


Walking with your nose in the air, in the myriad of historical towns dotted around Umbria, it is easy to admire a thousand faces of wrought iron in the sinuous balustrades of the old buildings, richly decorated with pots of geraniums, solid railings along steep stairways, trellises with floral or geometric designs, protecting the little windows of the houses, burnt brown coloured window gratings that contrast with the typical pinkish white buildings The churches are also decorated with chandeliers, candlesticks and other sacred ornaments in wrought iron.

All this is the result of the arduous and precious work of the blacksmiths, who have inherited their art from the Middle Ages. With flair and imagination, they are able to model hard metal into works of art with everyday functions. But that is not all. Current production is aimed at home interiors, providing objects and furnishing accessories, like beds, chairs and tables, typically with glass tops, lamps and chandeliers. The main centres of production are Assisi, Bevagna, Spello, Città della Pieve, Cascia, Città di Castello, Terni and Gubbio. For the latter, a whole chapter apart can be opened. From domestic use to historical reproductions, this is the route taken by the artisans of Gubbio, now famous for their  production of excellent armour and weapons based on ancient models.

Gems of colour: From the 16th century, Preci, in the Valnerina valley, together with Norcia, stood out,  for the production of high value surgical instruments. While in Montone, at the end of May, and in Bevagna in June, you can admire live representations of the ancient craft. The work of the glassmaker is somehow complementary to that of the blacksmith. Although artistic glass processing in Umbria is a niche, it has left its valuable mark in the beautiful stained glass windows in many churches, first and foremost in the Cathedral of Orvieto. The city with the oldest tradition is Piegaro, in the Lake Trasimeno area, where you can visit the interesting Museum of Glass, which allows us to get to know the production cycle, from mixing to finished product. Inside the Museum, you can also admire noble works dating back to the 19th century, like everyday objects used by the rural population, such as the local  demijohns and flasks, which also required the input of other artisans for the straw bases, made with local straw from the lake. Among the curiosities related to the Museum, are the remains of the last work performed in the Workshop, which was based in the building. It looks like a huge emerald-green mound and is preserved in the underground passages.

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