Monday, January 31, 2011

Many ways to make Murrine cane!

I recently got to attend a free demo by Lucie Kornakova and it was so inspiring!
(photo from Lunacy on Etsy)

I've been making my gathers football-shaped, Japanese-style and trying to stretch my graduated stripes evenly on the narrowing ends. It works fine for basic twist and ribbon cames but the more stripes and details, the more distorted the ends become. I also used small 1/8" metal punties, which again work fine for small simple things but are too flimsy for larger pattern canes.

Lucy builds hers in a narrow cylinder, even diameter so you can just stripe on even lines. She then builds up waste clear glass in either end to make the "egg" for pulling down with 10mm boro punties. I'd heard of that before but always thought that it would be so wasteful. Now I see how much sense it makes. No worries about boro contamination because it's only embedded in the waste glass, which is then discarded. She also talked about making murrine components and combining them together, which I'd only done an uber-tiny bit before.

(photo from Lunacy blog)

Lucy also had the most heat-efficient approach I've ever seen on a torch - it took her no time to melt huge gathers. I think this was partly because of the sweet Nortel Max torch and the world-class set-up at The Glass Shoppe Studio, but partly because she was able to absorb heat into her working pieces efficiently while keeping the finished base layers hard.

There was a class afterwards but we don't have the budget for it right now, sadly. Still just from the demo I've got a lot more ideas now!

I also got a link from my jewellery-designer friend Susan in Winnipeg showing U.S. artist Jim Jones' completely different approach to murrine cane building using sheet glass and a kiln. Very unique!

(photo from

So far my most complex canes are my floral stamens. That's probably where I'll focus my new ideas. Now I just need some more fuel... ;)

1 comment:

LiseF said...

Very interesting post, thanks to share. Lise