A neolithic shape, an archaic medium, and an ancient
process brought forward...
Circles and spheres housed meaning and formed expression
in the psyches of our earliest ancestors. Glass was one of
the first man made substances; synthesized some 5,000 years
ago. The early Egyptian "Murrini process" of stretching
an assemblage of colored glass to form an imaged cane, sliced
and viewed in cross section, was used to decorate sacred objects
and important buildings; later to evolve into Europe's famous
"Millifiori" paperweights of the 1800s.
There is power in the past in the hands of its future.
This archetypal relationship of sphere, glass, and murrini,
forms the constellation of glass artist Ro Purser's day to
day imagination. Stretching the constraints of these archaic
elements began for Ro in 1973 when he made his first small
glass sphere. For this singular act he is credited with starting
the American Contemporary Marble Movement. Forty years later
Ro continues to challenge glass in the round and the 3500
year old Murrini technique: making the most detailed silhouette
murrini ever produced. Employing self-made tools, methods,
and approach to this exceptional glass art form, Ro creates
visual sensations ranging in size from marbles to paperweights;
generous in geometric and representational murrini: rich in
color, pattern, and intricate detail. Each unique murrini
sphere creating for the viewer a contemporary relationship
with the past; a chance to experience through the vision of
one glass artist, the continuing evolution of this ancient
shape, medium, and process.