by Milo Sumner in New Art on Tuesday 10 June 2014

This is amazing! Californian glassworker Loren Stump is a celebrated expert at manipulating the fickle and delicate medium of glass. Known especially for his work with murrine, over 40 years Stump has mastered the technique of layering coloured molten glass around a core and then stretching the whole thing into a rod.

Once cooled and cut into, a cross-section of this rod reveals intricate patterns. Think of it like an incredible detailed candy-cane.

Not only is Stump adept at making murrine that he can create figurative images within the cross-sections that are hidden until the rod is sliced, he is also able to combine the two-dimensional forms into three-dimensional objects.

Some of his work is mind-boggling and it’s difficult to imagine how he even begins to create these classical pictures by mixing molten glass together. But he does and the results are incredible.

Each slice of this ‘loaf’ sold for $5000!

UPDATE: Here’s a quick look at our upcoming exclusive interview with the master glassworker himself!

How long have you been working with glass?

First experience with glass at 14. Since that, it’s been 44 years.

How’d you get started in the craft?

Stained glass. From hobby to wholesale. Wholesale to storefront. Storefront to custom. And then lampworking from 1993 to present. Just fell into it all.

Can you tell us more about how you manage to create these loaves of glass called murrine?

Breaking down elaborate pictures or ideas into detailed components. The components are built up from strokes of molten glass (as with painting), to create eyes, noses and mouths. Then these components are heated and stretched to a smaller size. The components are then cut to shorter pieces and assembled hot with a torch to create an image. An elaborate image may contain hundreds of components and be assembled and pulled and reassembled many times.