We started to develop Murrina glasses within a project for Gagosian Gallery – manufacturing collection of large glass tables designed by famous designer Marc Newson. It was a longterm demanding process of development of special glass compositions and technological processes.
Murrina glass can be understood as casting or fusing together small pieces of millefiori to get larger pieces. The whole process starts in glasswork – hotshop, where in various melting pots the required colors are melted. Glass is gathered, hotshaped and puled into rods, containing inner decoration – in our case it was five black dots. The finished rods are annealed, afterwards cut into small pieces and put into the mold with the decor at the bottom. The millefiori are casted – fused in an electric kiln into large panels and after coldworking again re-heated and thermoformed with special molds into required shape.
The problematic part of the project was the fact, that we worked solely with so called “striking” colors and the final color of the piece was achieved after casting. For example – transparent very light red became opaque deep red. Another challenge was the compatibility of the colored glass with black glass. Each color has a different chemical formula and to achieve a compatibility also for further thermoforming is sometimes a very long way with many attempts. If the colors are not compatible the piece can easily crack during coldworking.
Decorative technique Murrina was traditionaly used at the Italian island Murrano, where glassblowers used pieces of millefiori to produce smaller decorative objects like vases or plates, both fused or blown and hotshaped, but with size arround 30 – 40 cm. Our company has the ability and experience to cast extraordinary large pieces reaching up to 3m. We consider our approach and produced pieces as worldwide extraordinary.