Murrhine, Murrina, Murrine
Murrine glass is a section of glass rod, that resembles a lozenge, usually round or square with a decorative pattern running through its length. The pattern can be as simple as a circle of colour sitting in a clear frame, or as complex as a portrait or the Lords Prayer, as American artist Richard Marquis has managed to achieve. Murrine generally range in size from 5mm to 20mm.
Murrini can be used singly or in small numbers in a blown glass piece, as a decorative application on a plain background. Murrine can be applied as to form the whole body of the glass object. In this case the glass blower/designer exploits the intense repetitive pattern which is characteristic of this technique.
Cold Working is the general term given to a range of techniques, which are used on glass when it is cold. This term is used to distinguish shaping or manipulating glass while it is hot, which is another field of skills and discipline altogether.
Cold Working refers to techniques such as grinding, polishing, sandblasting, acid etching, wheel cutting and engraving.
This is a technique that requires a lot of patience and time. The glass piece has to be held up to a diamond or stone wheel, while the design is carved into its surface. Cutting is done in stages. The design is drawn onto the piece and the pattern is cut initially with a coarse diamond wheel to remove the bulk of the material. The design then needs re-cutting twice, with progressively finer diamond wheels. In companies such as Waterford or Orrefors, the design is sometimes taken to a high polish, using special polishing compounds, and at times ‘acid dipping’. We do not take our designs to this ‘high polish’ stage, but we use a final ‘fourth cut’ with a smooth stone wheel, to produce a satin surface finish, enhancing the relief cut decoration.
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