Hundreds of pieces of colored glass are melted together in intricate patterns to create detailed scenes and portraits.

You may have made some millefiori masterpieces in Fimo clay as a kid, but one self-taught artist based in California is taking that craft to the next level. Loren Stump makes murines, rods of colored glass that are melted together in particular patterns. The surprise, as with a geode, comes when the glass is sliced open, revealing a scene constructed out of the glass rods that is often inspired by medieval art.

The murrina method of glassblowing is more than 4,000 years old and originated in the Middle East, but it’s perhaps most famous to Westerners through its Italian variations, which were developed on the island of Murano. It mostly differs from the well-known millefiori technique, which mostly deals with abstract patterns like stars and flowers, through its attempts at more sophisticated subjects.

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