Skip to Main Content

Cane/Murrini: Overview

Introduction to library resources on Canework and Murrini. More information is available through the library catalog or by using the Rakow's Ask a Glass Question service.

Definitions of Cane & Murrini


A cane is a long and narrow piece of glass, usually in the form of rod (round in cross-section) (50.3.3).  Sometimes canes are made flat and strip-like (72.1.11).

Canes are made by stretching a compact mass of hot glass, sometimes to great length (twenty meters or more). The glass being pulled can be simply a large "gather" of one color, but more commonly there is a core of colored glass thickly covered with clear glass. More complicated designs can be created by attaching previously made canes to the outside of contrasting soft glass then twisting the tools as the cane is pulled (see video "Cane Making.")

For very complex patterns, a large bundle of canes that has been carefully assembled can be fused, and then pulled long. Here, no matter how long the bundle is pulled and how small its resulting diameter, the pattern is retained perfectly (66.1.78 and 94.4.111).

All canes fall into one of two basic categories:

  1. Canes that were made to be viewed from the side, for example canes with a twisted lateral pattern (65.3.38).
  2. Canes that were made to be viewed in cross-section, for example millefiore canes (55.1.2). The term millefiore means "1,000 flowers" and is a type of murrini often used in paperweights.


Murrini are slices of cane.

Examples of Cane & Murrini

General information

Cane making

Contribute to the Artist Files

Do you work with glass? Are you a glass blower, lamp worker, beader, artist, crafter, or maker?

Consider contributing to our artist files! Learn more on the library's Guide to Artist Files

A folder with your name on it will be added to the Rakow Research Library's artist files and available for use by researchers, other artists, and any interested member of the public. 

Attention CMoG Studio Students!

Have questions? Schedule a consultation with a Llbrarian at the Rakow Library to get help researching a specific topic or using Library resources. You can also submit a specific question to Ask a Glass Question.

Can't find a book or article at your local library? Use Interlibrary Loan to request materials from our collection and access thousands of digitized items through the Library catalog.

Find Answers to Your Glass Questions

Search Library Collections and More

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative library service that allows you to borrow materials through your local library. For more information visit our ILL page or e-mail