Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clownfish Murrine

I thought I would share to process of making a murrine. I wanted to be able to add little groups of fish to my underwater beads, and it's hard to place tiny murrine side by side without distorting them, so I decided to make a little group in one murrrine. This first picture shows the first step, one large fish murrine. Here it's almost done, it took about 1 1/2 hours to get to this point. The fish image runs in the same direction as the rod i am holding in my left hand.
Now it's time to build up a big cone of clear glass on each side to prepare it to be pulled.
The punty with tape on the end is Boro, which holds up better without shocking through this slow-ish process.

Finally I have a good cone on each end, and a boro punty on each side. The cones will be wasted, better to waste scrap clear than my precious murrine!
Now I slowly and evenly heat the entire mass, the heat must be even throughout to get an even pull, without letting any parts get so hot that the image will distort or move inside.
Starting the pull, out of the flame.

Pulling, pulling, pulling!

And pulling a little more!
Several sections have been put in the kiln, here I'm cutting a chip to look at while the rest anneals. Then I'll put that final piece into the kiln too.

The finished pull. The thickest sections can have the cones sawn off and will provide nice big fish.
A fish bouquet!
Hmmm, not especially fish-anatomically correct, but a good first effort!
The next step was to cut 5 pieces of equal length and bring them up to 980 degrees in the kiln. I melted a nice platform of clear and then picked them up one by one and built a new bundle, with clear surrounding each one. And then repeated the above process, this time ending up with a cluster of 5 tiny fish. Any anatomy issues disappeared at this scale!

And here we have itty-bitty fish, ready to use. When plunged into clear, they will just seem to float! And any encasing will magnify them a bit.
Mmmm, tasty itty bitty fish!
Next week, I hope to complete my new mermaid face. I'll get photos if there's anyone around to take them! (Maybe I should dust off my bench before having pictures taken, do you think? And I'm glad that the truly insane hat I was wearing doesn't show in the picture. Hehehe!)


carol said...

OMG.What an amazing process.Thank you for sharing with your niave followers It's a whole other world.I'm glad your a part of it.

Cris Leonard said...

Wow. Very impressive! I want to see the hat, though.

Cynthia of Cynful Creations said...

Thanks for sharing these progressive photos, Karen, I found them to be very informative! I've been wondering how make a murrine but not sure I'd have the patience - you go, girl!

Karen Elmquist said...

Thanks Cynthia! I love having the finished product to work with but the process is...tortuous!!