I have an addiction. Ok, yes, I know you know I am addicted to glass. That one is obvious. However, this addiction is new. I am not admitting this as part of some 12 step program because it's an addiction I am not ready to let go of just quite yet. The addictions is murrini. Not martini, but MURRINI. I am not going to go into a big long explanation of that it is, but will tell you it's glass, created with different colors of glass being layered together into a cane and then cut into usable pieces. These pieces are then used to decorate other glass beads! Because of this new addiction, I have been buying lots of murrini in just about every color combo I can get my hands on. Theoretically, I could make it myself. However, my time at the torch is limited. murrini are time intensive, and there are others that make and sell fun color combos that I am more than happy to buy from. A couple of the sellers I have personally purchased from are Lori and Kim and Feng Frit Factory. Both have fast shipping and gorgeous selections. One thing to keep in mind is half of the Feng Frit Factory duo lives in the Netherlands. The murrini she creates ships directly from there. However, the portion of the order from the Netherlands arrived more quickly than I thought it would. One of the other issues of collecting lots of different colors of murrini is organization and storage. I am obsessed with organization. I think mostly because I am so unorganized myself and don't like it. Here is what I came up with for the murrini: Using my 40% off coupon at Michael's I purchased this bead organizer. And look at that! I have room to expand! I LOVE it when I have extra space to fill! Because I am so anal retentive about stuff, I also peeled the labels off the baggies the murrini came in and attached them to the jar where they were relocated. Some labels did not peel off very well, so I will need to make labels for those jars. This will help me with reordering in the future.
For those of you who do not work with glass, you may not realize that the type of glass I work with is called "soft glass" and it shocks more easily than borosilicate (aka pyrex). See the photo below for proof with all the bits and pieces of glass on my bench in front of my torch from shocking. The worst is when a tiny piece shocks off and lands on the arm, or down the shirt....
The murrini likes to shock, even with gentle heat introduction (hold it far out in the coolest part of the flame, wave it in and out of the flame). So I solved this problem by placing a candle warmer next to my torch. I plug it in and turn it on when I start ramping up the kiln for the day. I haven't had a single murrini shock since using this candle warmer. Perhaps I should start using it for all my glass rods!
The bead shown at the top of this post was created using murrini and completely melting it flat. This next one the murrini were melted in, but left slightly raised, then a blob of clear added on top to magnify. A very cool effect! Both beads can be found in my etsy shop.



Great ideas! Thanks for the storage tips!


Jennifer - thank you for sharing! As you know, I just received my murrini from Lori and Kim, and I still need practice applying it. But I couldn't help myself and bought it anyway. I have some murrini I bought after I took my first class, but after I melted it onto my tweezers I kind of gave up on it. So now I'm using that for practice before I dive into the good stuff (aka loriandkim murrini). I don't even know what I'm going to do with it ~ it was just too pretty to pass up. So I really appreciate the candle-warmer tip. I've heard of people putting on the marver that's attached to the torch (I don't have one of those, though), too. And I love your storage idea. That would work for frit, too.

Lori Peterson

Awww, thank you for all your wonderful comments, Jennifer! I am amazed by your gorgeous beads and so proud that we could be a small part of that creation. I'm so tickled by seeing this blog post!!! Thank you!!!

Jennifer Cameron

Lauren~if you have it on the candle warmer, you don't even need to pre heat in the flame, so no risk of melting to your tweezers. If you can get a tight flame, spot heat pretty hot without loosing control where you want the murrini to go. Grab the chip with tweezers off the warmer, and poke it into the bead. Slowly heat so it doesn't melt off to the side. I will sometimes touch the marver to flatten it as I melt it in, or poke w/ tungsten in the center to get the lines to meet up. Does this make sense?

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