Tips from the Glass Academy: How To Cut Murrini Without Having Flying Glass

How To Cut Murrini Without Having Flying Glass

This great idea comes from Glacial Art Glass


How do you cut murrini without hearing these sounds? The very simple method you are about to learn will show you how to:

  • Cut murrini without chasing your glass slices across the room.
  • Avoid breathing the dust created when cutting.
  • Keep all those tiny shards and chips of glass from getting everywhere.
  • Have your cane and cutting tool clearly visible and freely mobile so that you can get consistently good quality murrini slices.

Note that this method is very cheap, easy to set up, and can be used to cut other small pieces of glass with a pair of mosaic cutters or ceramic tile nippers.

Here we go:
You’ll need a few things besides your murrine cane and cutters.

– A cheap snap and seal plastic baggie.
– 4 Safety pins or Binder clips.
– Scissors


When it comes to plastic bags, go for the cheapest, thinnest sandwich bags, at about 6 ½ inches by 5 7/8 inches. Of course, whatever you have on hand will probably work, but the cheap sandwich bags are the right size, and thinner plastic (think generic store-brand vs. the sturdier ziplock brand) seems to stay clear longer. Over time any bag will lose clarity due to dust, abrasions, and wrinkles, so that you will unfortunately have to throw them away and start with a new one occasionally. But you can cut a lot of murrini with just one bag.

Step one: Put the cutting end of your tool into the bag, with the handles sticking out, and seal the bag around the handles. It’s not necessary to get a complete seal, just try to keep the two sides of the bag lined up to reduce gaps. You don’t need a lot of the tool in the bag, it’s more important to keep as much of the handles sticking out as possible.

Step two: Secure the seal, including between the handles, with safety pins or binder clips. If you are using safety pins, run each pin along the edge of the bag, not perpendicular to it. Binder clips need to be sufficiently small that they don’t impede the cutting motion. The one securing the section between handles is most likely to get in the way, so opt for the smallest one you can get here. While cutting you’ll notice that there is still a slight gap around each handle. This is fine as long as murrine slices wont readily work out of the bag.

Step three: Cut a slit in the bag where you will need to insert the murrine cane. Cut a corner off the bag from where you will be able to pour your slices out. You will have more control over short pieces of murrine cane or other small pieces of glass if you can hold them with your fingers directly, even though they might not be protruding from the bag. The most effective way to enable this is to make the holes big enough to fit a forefinger and thumb through with the glass.

A few final tips:
While cutting, keep the corner hole clipped or pinned shut. If murrini slices begin to get in the way of the cutting tool movement, shake them into the corner, away from the tool.  When you get ready to pour the murrine out of the bag, dust, though you may not see it, will be coming out too. Take care not to breath this in.

This great idea comes from Glacial Art Glass

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