Sep 2, 2009

Making a “Starburst” Murrini is one thing – APPLYING it is the next big “secret”, so, here we go again:

1. Cut the cane into small pieces. I always try to get a variety of LENGTH, since this will alter the appearance of the finished piece just as much as the diameter of the cane. I myself use the Ropex-Corina Nippers for this, since they give the cleanest cut – and the way the blades are arranged allow for an easy cut while holding both ends of the cane – so the stuff doesn’t fly all over your table:

2. I always cut more murrini than I think I’ll need, because grabbing them with pliers is tricky and once in a while I’ll drop one….I place them on the top of my Magic Marver, that way they are close to the flame and bead, AND they get preheated from the heat that radiates off the flame onto the marver (most torch mounted marvers are slanted, so the murrini will slide off). Another way to make a temporary “Magic Marver” is to take a can or something like that and put a graphite plate on top of that…

3. Make your bead, let it get cool (!), then turn down the flame to more of a pinpoint flame and superheat just the spot where you want to place the Murrini. If you don’t turn down the flame, chances are that a large surface of the bead is going to get hot, which is no problem with a black bead like I used here…but if you have other design elements already in place, they might get distorted…I also use this time to preheat the murrini even more in the upper part of the flame (don’t let the murrini got so hot that it GLOWS!!! That will make it mushy and distort when you place it)

4. Push the murrini firmly into the bead

5. Gently heat the Murrini to make it flatten out (unless you WANT it to stay raised, of course…there are all kinds of options. BE CREATIVE!!). You can either use JUST the heat, OR use a tool (Magic Wand, butter knife..whatever) to GENTLY push down the Murrini. If you do that you will get a slightly different look, you will see! Before the murrini goes flat, POKE the center of it! That will draw all the lines inwards and make this LOOK a lot more complicated of a murrini than it actually is. If you don’t poke the center, the color of the CANE (Ivory in this case) will show as a dot in the center (as you might have seen in the beads on Shirley Cooks website!)

This is the finished look: