Self-taught, California-based artist Loren Stump makes a variety of beautiful glass works, but he is best known for his incredible skill at murrine (also known as murrina or murrini), a 4,000-year-old Mideast technique where colored patterns or images made in a glass cane are revealed when cut in cross-sections. Murrine are designed by layering different colors of molten glass around a core, then heating and stretching it into a rod. When cool, the rod is sliced like a loaf of bread, revealing the same elaborate details in each piece.
With over 40 years of experience, Stump has perfected his murrine technique to the point where he can now layer amazingly detailed paintings in glass, manipulating two-dimensional murrine slices into three-dimensional forms. His most complex work to date is a unique interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci's painting Virgin on the Rocks. Stump used hundreds of glass rods to create each detail, building the portrait one component at a time. The result is a stunning glass masterpiece that sold for $5,000 per slice.
If you have a couple of hours to spare, check out the video at the end of this post to see an in-depth murrine demonstration by the glass master himself.