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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 cane, or glass bars. The cane, or “colorbars” as Robert calls them, may be further manipulated by combining several bars and re-firing, or they can be heated in a glory hole and pulled (stretched). As practiced in Murano, the cane is eventually cut into many small pieces, called millefiori or murrine. Each murrine is meticulously arranged by hand and then fired together to produce the final piece.
The Colorbar Murrine Series was originally designed by Robert as a sculptural collection mainly consisting of shallow vessels. Since its inception the series has evolved to include wall panels, pedestal pieces (panels with stands), and lighting (sconces). To date, designs have incorporated up to 20 color selections, over 2,000 individual handmade murrine and over 425 murrine designs. No two multi-color pieces are exactly the same.
- All pieces are handmade and signed by Robert.
- All sizes reflected on the website are approximate.
- Most shallow vessels, pedestal pieces and wall panel designs are available in a gloss or matte finish.
- Vinyl bumpers are applied to the bottom of each vessel to help keep the art work secure and protected against hard surfaces.
- Wall panels are hung using a French cleat system, which comes stand, or an optional aluminum peg “stand-off” hanging system. The “stand-off” hanging system uses up to four aluminum pegs per panel and is visible from the front. Alternatively, the French cleat remains totally hidden behind the panel, providing a floating effect.
- While a metal stand is included with pedestal pieces, the listed sizes are of the glass panel only and do not include the height of the stand.