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.
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.
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.
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 imbedded star murrini chip in your bead. Neat!
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!).
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.
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]avenuebeads.com