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How To Use Star Murrini Cane

If you’ve never used murrini in cane form this blog post will hopefully answer all of your questions. If not leave a comment and I’ll answer any questions you may have on this technique.

These little stars are great for adding character to your holiday beads (Halloween, Christmas) and landscape beads.

Using Our Star Cane:

Unlike larger murrini that is used in slices, our star cane is meant to be used right off the cane. This is only possible up to a certain diameter, too big of a murrini and the image will not transfer correctly to your work. Our star murrini cane works perfectly using the “snap off” technique that I’m about to show you.

You will need:

104coe Star Murrini Cane

104coe Rod or Stringer of Clear (optional)

black glass rod in torch flame

Murrini Placement

Start by creating your bead and adding any design elements you wish. Here I’m just using an example paddle as I couldn’t find my mandrels to make a bead at the moment.

When you are ready to start placing your murrini stars decide where you want the first star to go. Heat that section until it is nice and glowing. Doesn’t have to be soupy hot but it has to be able to accept being manipulated.

pushing murrini into glass

Pokey poke

Grab your star murrini cane and quickly push it into the spot that you heated. Too get the most out of your cane it’s important to remember not to shove the cane in so far that you’re wasting valuable millimeters.

It may be a good idea to practice a couple of times on a paddle like I’m using to get a feel for the technique before using this on a bead that you spent hours creating.

murrini chip in glass

Embedded Murrini

After poking the cane into your bead hold the cane there and let the area that you heated to set back up.

Once it cools back down again, all you need to do is quickly snap the can to one side. If done properly this will leave one embedded star murrini chip in your bead. Neat!

add murrini to glass

Adding more stars

At this point you have the option of placing a dot of clear over the chip to give the murrini a lens. Alternatively and my chosen preference, just leaving as is and continue on imbedding more chips.

Keep repeating the steps of re-heating a section, poking the star cane in, and snapping off.

Try not to get too close to any previously placed stars. If you get to close with your “poking” you run the chance of smearing one of the chips (which I actually managed to do, oops!).

Star murrini in black glass paddle

Oh my stars!

Here I have all the star chips placed and it’s ready to be finished off. It looks quite messy and bad now but once you complete the last step everything will come together and you’ll have a starry sky.

star murrini in glass example

Finish him!

After you finish placing all the stars into your bead all that is left to do is reheat the whole piece until everything levels back out. If you did not place clear above the chips the stars will shrink in size a bit due to the glass having to fill itself back in.

While I was taking these photos I was just about out of propane so I had to go through the steps rather fast. The finished look is a bit lumpy but hopefully this will give you a good handle on how to use our star murrini canes.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

On a side note…If you’ve used our star cane before or do in the future, I would love to see your beads! I may even update this post with pictures of your beads and include them as examples in the store listing as well. Just send your photos to joe[at]

Have fun!

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Say Hello To My Little Studio

black glass tube bead with feathered middle

Every time we move it seems that my studio gets smaller and smaller. Either that or my glass multiplies in-between our moves.

We moved to a new house about two months ago, a real fixer upper. The basement was a pretty decent size. That is until we filled it with all our boxes. Over the course of the next 3 years we’ll be gutting the whole house and redoing everything. So that means the majority of our things will stay packed during that time. More boxes means less space for me.

This was the mess my soon to be studio space was shortly after we finished moving in. Pretty much the whole basement looked like what you see in the photo with little paths leading to the stairs. I wasn’t quite sure how this was all going to work, but I had to start somewhere so I could get back to work as quickly as possible.

You’re probably thinking “how on earth is this going to get organized!?” I was saying much of the same thing for at least a couple of hours. I figured every good plan has to start somewhere, I just had to find that starting point.

A wave of the magic wand and everything is unpacked and situated where it should be. OK I wish it were that easy! After about a week of sorting everything out, building shelves, and digging through boxes trying to find that one thing I need, I was back in business.

The couple of weeks of forced vacation that I was on was nice but getting back to work in my shiny new studio felt really good.

Not everything is where I want it to be but I can deal with that another day. Firing up the torch again after not being able to melt glass for a while was like eating that favorite food you treat yourself to on a rare occasion.

One of the things I do like about my new studio, even though it’s smaller it has lots of natural light during the day thanks to the huge glass block windows in the basement. So much better than working in a dark dungeon like my last studio setup at the old house.