April 21, 2021

Artist Creates Incredible Sliced Glass ‘Paintings’ and Portraits

California-based glass artist Loren Stump specializes in a form of glasswork called murrine, where rods of glass are melted together and then sliced to reveal elaborate patterns and forms.

While the murrina process appeared in the Mideast some 4,000 years ago, Stump has perfected his own technique over the past 35 years to the point where he can now layer entire portraits and paintings in the glass before slicing them to see the final results.

Loren Stump

His most complex piece to date is a detailed interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks, which involved hundreds of glass components that were melted into a final piece.

You can see more of Stump’s 2D and 3D work over on his website.

Loren Stump: website / facebook

Loren Stump

Using thousands of colored glass canes, he “paints” layer by layer, expertly fusing the glass together.

Loren can’t check his work as he is creating murrine; the portrait can only be viewed once it’s completed and sliced. Most murine consist of just patterns and shapes, few artists are able to make full portraits.

Loren Stump

His rendition of Da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks is his most elaborate murrini. It’s fully shaded and detailed, with his signature on the Madonna’s brooch.

 “It could be stretched to the size of a hair and still be seen. But for the purpose of collectibility, I leave them fairly large.” -Loren Stump

Loren Stump

Loren Stump

Originally a stained glass painter, Stump only began working with molten glass in 1993. He is entirely self-taught and has earned renown as both a sculptor and teacher.

He’s mastered murrine, sculpture, paperweight encasement, and lampwork. He has displays in the Corning Museum of Glass, the Ertz Israel Museum, and the Kyokei Museum of Glass.

“He attained such a high level of skill so quickly, it seemed he must have studied glass in a past life.” –Robert Micklesen

Loren Stump

Loren Stump

Loren Stump

Loren Stump

Here’s a video of Stump explaining the process himself: