I started with the eyecanes which I had to resist from making them blue-eyed... I have a "thing" for making eye canes blue, I have no idea why really, but I do! I ended up using a thin ring of opal yellow with CIM Ghee around as the coloured bit of the eye. I had totally forgotten about making the shape flat on the top at first and to try and fix it I simply heated the top of the cane (a lot) then squished it flatbefore filling in with the white around the outside. Thank goodness it worked out fine, though not as good as I wanted it to be!
Once I had made the eyecanes and the mouth area as planned I didn't realise that I had forgot to make the ear canes..... until I was halfway though constructing the murrini - don't you hate it when that happens!
I started by preheating two sets of mouth and eye canes (one set as a backup) to about 580deg C which means than when it is reintroduced to the glass it will not shatter! Normally I only go to 560deg but given that the canes are all sitting right next to my bead door at the bottom of the kiln I thought I would go up a little higher this time (for which I was grateful because the first mouth cane shattered into little bits but the second one survived). I worked this murrini from the mouth upwards and outwards, adding stripes and colour and building up to the cheek area before applying the eye canes, then finishing off the head until I liked the shape. I was fairly upset with myself when I realised I had forgot the ears, so I just made some up on the fly.... they worked ok I suppose. I then encases the head with clear between the ears and around to the sides, but left the neck unencased so that I can attach the murrini to a tigers body without causing difficulties. I also left one section of the pull really thick (about 1.5cm diameter) and kept it in the kiln to anneal and I want to use this bit to be cut on a a trimming saw, polish the slice then apply to a tigers head Loren Stump style (may be a bit too much for me... but you gotta try these things don't you!)
Onwards and upwards, this murrini is NOT perfect, but hopefully will be quite cute and recognisable as a tiger when applied to a bead at any rate!