The process of murrine art glass incorporates mosaic techniques originated over 3,000 years ago, prior to the discovery of glassblowing. Mosaic glass peaked around the first century BC/AD, about the time when blown glass objects first made their appearance. Shortly thereafter, the mosaic art form quickly fell out of favor. It wasn’t until late in the nineteenth century that a revival of the technique surfaced in Murano, Italy. Here the process was developed and refined along with milk glass, crystalline glass, enameled glass, and aventurine (or glass with threads of gold).
Robert developed his award winning Colorbar Murrine Series by joining the hot glass technique perfected in Murano with the fused glass process, also known as “kilnforming”. As in any fused glass project, art glass specifically designed to be compatible during the firing process is thoughtfully selected. The art glass is cut, arranged and placed in a kiln where it is carefully heated to a temperature that causes the glass to melt, or fuse together. After the cooling process, or annealing, the result is creating glass bars. As practiced in Murano, the colorbars are eventually cut into many small pieces, called millefiori or murrine. Each murrine is meticulously arranged by hand and then fired together, cold worked and then fired again to produce the final piece.
Like the Colorbar Murrine Series, the Colorcane Murrine Series was developed by joining the hot glass technique perfected in Murano centuries ago with the fused glass process, also known as “kilnforming”. The difference being with the Colorcane Murrine, pulled cane is introduced to the murrine making process. As practiced in Murano, the pulled cane is eventually cut into many small pieces, called millefiori or murrine. Each individual murrine is then arranged by hand, fired together, cold worked and then fired once more to produce the final piece.