Murrine glass is name for the small circles of glass with patterns inside them.
"Murrine (singular: murrina) are colored patterns or images made in a glass cane that are revealed when the cane is cut into thin cross-sections. Murrine can be made in infinite designs from simple circular or square patterns to complex detailed designs to even portraits of people. One familiar style is the flower or star shape which, when used together in large numbers from a number of different canes is called millefiori.
Murrine production first appeared in the Middle East more than 4,000 years ago and was revived by Venetian glassmakers on Murano in the early 16th century.
Once murrine have been made, they can be incorporated into a glass vessel or sculpture in several ways." (from Wikipedia)
In the picture above I have fused many segments of murrine to make this wall work. 10x10x.5
Originally Murrine was made in a glass studio in a very time consuming way by building the designs with stringers( strings) and then heating then and pulling them like taffy. They were then cut up and used to make beautiful Art . The work was magnificent and took a great deal of time to produce.
Now forming the murrine in a special type of kiln is possible but it takes some special knowledge and equipment. I suggest a course with a master glass artist such as Larry Pile in Dallas, Texas.
I have embarked on adding this process to my art.
Here is a link to his studio. http://kesslercraftsman.com/events/kessler-craftsman-open-studio-kiln-glass-open-studio-2/
So after taking his class I decided to set up a caldera kiln in my own studio. One big problem was there is very little information available on step by step instructions and resources to making a mobile kiln stand.
My design parameters were to have a mobile stand that provided access to all sides. I do many things in my studio so having the kiln mounted to the wall was not a solution. This is what I came up with with my local resources. If you have resource questions let me know and I will try and help.
Here's a big thank you for the brain stimulation to do this from my Google kids, and a thank you to Larry Pile for a great course.
This is how I made the stand for this kiln. If you have suggestions or ideas or how how I might improve this design I would love your feedback. Safety first ... Use at your own risk..and read the kiln instructions well.
I made the kiln shelf from 1 inch unifrax fiber board i bought from hollander glass. I cut the 48 inch long board into a 24 x24 size with a utility knife. Wear a mask when cutting as the material is toxic in your lungs!! You can also cut the board with hand saw or knife.
The stock size is 48x24. I used the 1 inch thickness.
Click on picture below for a link and source
Wear a mask when cutting board or painting on rigidizer!!!! I use the model below as it works for all the things i do in the studio with the p 100 cartridges
Click on link below to order
Next I cut one 2 inch hole with a hole saw. You can borrow one from a woodworking friend or get one at Lowes. It is used to drill doors for door handles. Wear a mask!!
Click on image below to buy
Next I rigidized the fiber board.. by first painting on a silica rigidizer, and second by firing it in my kiln. I applied the rigidizer which is a thin bluish liquid. So I poured it from the large gallon container into a leftover jar and placed the small jar directly on fiberboard to save losing drips and making a bigger mess. I let this dry overnight.
I bought the rigidizer from Hollander Glass. Click on picture below for more info.
MSDS Sheet on rigidizer below
I set the fiber board on some small plastic cups to get air to both sides of the board when it was drying in front of a fan. In hindsight I ended up with some small round indentations in the final fired board where the cups were. No issue for this project but would use a different way to elevate board if I wanted a totally flat surface for a kiln shelf.
Next I cut the corners to fit my stand and let it dry overnight. It turned a bluish / purple color when it was dry. Wear gloves as this stuff drys your hands out.
You can see the indentation in fiber board after firing from plastic glass support I used during drying.
Next I moved the fiber board to to my kiln and elevated it on 1 inch kiln posts and fired at 400 (degrees in F) per hour to 1200 degrees then turned off the kiln to cool. When firing the board the first time it has an odor so use good ventilation. I left kiln partially open to vent during firing about a 1/2 inch for any residual water vapor.
Now on to the stand. I bought the stand at Ace restaurant supply. I liked this design because all sides were open. Other stands will work as well. I had to ask for parts as they were in warehouse. . It cost about 240 for stand on rollers. Fiber shelf cost was about 80 and rigidizer 30 plus. Now for the fun. The coasters on this stand are lockable.
Next I cut a hole in middle of top shelf for glass to flow thru from the Caldera Kiln. I used my plasma cutter to do this, but a dremel tool or a heavy duty wire cutter will work. When assembled it fits well into the storage area in my studio. But, on hindsight I think I cut the hole to large in the top shelf. I do not want to chance the kiln coming thru. Perhaps a non-issue but I decided to fix it.
I had some stainless steel vessels fabricated at a local shop in 304 stainless. The square shape I modified and reinforced the corners. They are available in my online store
Glass Melting Vessel Round 5x5 inchs
5 inch by 5 inch round melting vessel for forming murrine.
Glass Melting Vessel 5x5 Square with reinforced corners
Glass Melting Vessel 5x5 Square with reinforced corners for murrine
Glass melting base Steel 6x6 1 inch hole
Glass melting base Steel 6x6 1 inch hole for murrine glass stringers
So to fix the big hole I had some stainless sheet from another art project, so fabricated 2 solid shelves. 1 with smaller hole for under fiberboard which supports the kiln, and one to cover the bottom shelf. Problem solved.
Next I adjusted the shelf height so kiln would be level.
Cyndi and Hollander Glass used an Ikea bowl under kiln for scrap and glass drops. Ordered bowl online as it was not stocked in our local Ikea, in Houston.
to buy bowl click on the link below
Next I placed the kiln on top and zip tied the cord to the outside of the poles so it would not move. I left some extra slack in the cord so I could move kiln around..
I also zip tied the programing card for the Caldera kiln to the stand so I would not lose it.
So next up is reading the kiln instructions front to back, cutting some glass and filling the vessels and giving it a test spin!! Many thanks to Larry Pile for a great course and Cyndi at Hollander Glass for the encouragement and hints.
I have made it easy for you to find the equipment that works for me with links to Amazon. I am an Amazon associate, so if you buy things thru my blog, they cost you no more and Amazon funds
me . This will help us both as you get the item(s) and I get help with the cost of producing these blogs.