Miniature Holy Family on a gondola with guiding star (4 inches long, 2 inches tall). Umberto is from Murano, Italy; he works only with authentic Murano glass and has been making micro glass sculptures since 1974. Before becoming a glass maker, he was a well-known rowing athlete participating in National, World and Olympic games.
Murano glass is made of silica, soda, lime, and potassium. Glassmakers heat the elements in a special furnace at a temperature of 2732 degrees F (1500 degrees C), until it reaches a liquid state. Very thin layers of real gold or sterling silver are then added to the glass mixture along with various minerals to give the glass its vibrant colors and designs.