My Process for Murrine

Cut Glass and Stainless Steel Pot

Selecting and Cutting Glass

The beginning of any glass project starts with selecting the colors that I’ll use. Although the glass sheets, rods, and stringers are compatible with each other, the different colors can cause reactions where they come together.

Glass Loaded into Stainless Steel Pot

Loading the Glass into the Pot

I use a square stainless steel pot that can withstand the temperature of the kiln (1540 °F). It’s lined with glazed ceramic tile to keep the glass from sticking to the pot.

Hole in Bottom of Kiln Floor

A Hole in the Kiln Floor

In order to allow the molten glass to flow into a long cane, there’s a hole in the bottom of the kiln floor.

Bulb of Glass Has Dropped

The Bulb of Glass Has Dropped

The exceedingly hot bulb of glass that protruded from the bottom of the pot has dropped. Wearing welder’s gloves, I use offset tile nippers to grab the glass and pull it downward into a cane thickness that I want.

First Two Canes

Canes of Variable Thickness

I purposely pull the cane faster and slower to get some variety in the thickness. I cut the cane with the same nippers that I use to pull it. I then immediately put the segment down on a thick fiber blanket to insulate the hot glass from thermal shock.

Glass Canes Pulled from the Pot

The Pull Is Done

Once the cane becomes a ribbon (because so little glass is the left in the pot) I turn off the kiln.

Below is a time lapse video of cane being pulled.

Chopping Murrine

Until the glass cane is chopped, it’s not murrine. Below is a video that shows the chopping process.

Assembling the Murrine Project

Assembling the murrine project, one murrina at a time.

Into the Kiln

Into the Kiln

A full fuse is achieved at 1510°F.

Coldworking

The edges of the murrine plate are ground with increasingly finer grits on a lapidary wheel to smooth and shape the edges.

Ready for Slump

Into the Kiln Again

The plates are placed back into the kiln on ceramic molds and heated the final time.

Slumped

Slumped into Molds

The plates after slumping.

Finished Piece

Finished Murrine Project

From selecting the glass and cutting it, to the last slump of the project, these are the minimum number of steps that are involved. Often there are more, depending on the particular piece.