There are several levels and techniques for making glass murrini cane and I am going to talk a little about the best contemporary Italian murrini maker.  It is generally agreed that Mario Dei Rossi is one of the best Specialty Italian Murrini maker’s.  Contemporary glass artists from the past centuries have worked with Murrini, however none has achieved Dei Rossi’s excellence in realism.  By the time Dei Rossi reached the age of 24, he had become a glass master, and had been working with glass for a decade.  De Rossi started making murrini when he retired from glass furnace work.

Self portrait murrini by Mario Dei Rossi

Self portrait murrini by Mario Dei Rossi

I met Dei Rossi at his home on the island of Burano about 12 years ago when Mike and I were hunting for exceptional murrini.  Dei Rossi’s house was a thrill to walk through because as I found out later, he was also passionate about painting and his house was full of fabulous drawings and paintings.

While Mike and I were at Dei Rossi’s house, he showed us a segment of a European TV program that showed him demonstrating making and finishing his murrini and it blew my mind!  Dei Rossi develops his murrini cane by placing an image at the bottom of a large coffee can and pulling thin hand mixed canes (some with as many as 10,000 strands of glass) and placing them over the image.  His method for placing down the colors for the murrini is like working with pixels in a digital image.

Dei Rossi murrini of a Camellia.

Dei Rossi murrini of a Camellia.

Dei Rossi murrini based on Botticelli's "Birth of Venus".

Dei Rossi murrini based on Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”.

Dei Rossi made one of the largest murrini I have ever heard about, named “The Tempest” (translation: storm).  His murrini is a copy of a very famous Italian painting called “The Tempest” by Giorgione that hangs in Accademia Museum in Venice, Italy.  Between 1989 and 2003 Mario managed to create 70 murrini, many of them extraordinary.

Dei Rossi's largest murrini based on painting called "The Tempest".

Dei Rossi’s largest murrini based on painting called “The Tempest”.

Dei Rossi murrini of Greek God of wine Bachus.

Dei Rossi murrini of Greek God of wine Bachus.

Dei Rossi murrini of Calla Lillies.

Dei Rossi murrini of Calla Lillies.

Dei Rossi murrini of Leonard da Vinci.

Dei Rossi murrini of Leonard da Vinci.