The many styles of glass murrine
Murrines: patterned glass slices or plaques that are prepared separately for use. Rods or small pieces of glass are melted together, either freehand or in a mold, then sliced horizontally to show the colorful cross-section
Murrina or "a murrine" is one of the most versatile and wide-used techniques in glass making. First used in the mid-east over 4000 years ago, and revived on Murano in the 1500's, it has become synonymous with Murano glass.
In some cases, like that shown in this Galliano Ferro hat, a single style of murrine is used to create a piece where all the murrines are distinct in the finshed form. Millefiore, or million flower, glass uses many different styles of murrines, of complimenting or contrasting colors and styles, to create a cohesive whole with each murrine also remaining wholly or partially distinct. In some cases the murrines are blurred or stretched, Barovier and Toso frequently blurred their murrines as a stylistic approach.
Venini used the "a murrina" in some of their designs in such a way that each identical murrine was indistnct from the next an formed an overall pattern appearing to be made from one piece of glass.
A related technique called "Tessera" uses flat pieces of glass, rather than cross-section murrines, melded together and formed or blown into the article desired. Venini named these pieces "pezzato" or patchwork glass. Barovier and Toso had a similar technique called "intarsio".
Mosaico or "mosaic" glass is another general term for either "a murrina", Millefiore, or tessera vessels or objects.
The pieces are generally formed as follows: the murrines or tessera are laid on a marver in the pattern desired by the glass master, then a gather of hot molten glass is taken up on the punty or rod, and then the gather of molten glass is rolled over the pieces to pick them up onto the surface of the gather. The whole is then reheated in the furnace until the murrines are sufficiently heated to be blown or shaped into the final form.