Sunday, August 14, 2011

Marble Madness

contemporary glass marbles by Joe Holford and Frank Scott lampwork
Marbles in a milk glass bowl
I have loved and collected marbles since I was a child.  Today I thought I would share with you some modern "Artist marbles" that I bought this year at the 2011 Bead Show in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  These marbles combine two of my loves - marbles and glass.   
contemporary glass marbles by Frank Scott and Joe Holford lampwork
Lampwork Marbles - View A
'Artist Marbles' are the name I call marbles created one at a time by contemporary glass artists.  These artist marbles are not bargain priced objects, unfortunately.  (How I wish they were, sigh...)  The artist can spend more then one hour on a single marble, and so these marbles are usually in the two digit price range.  I consider each marble a tiny art work, and so I supported artists by purchasing them.  Just doing my part to support the economy.  (That's what I told my husband....)  (In the first photo I have my marbles in a milk glass bowl that I bought at a rummage sale, so there is my thrifty portion of this post...)
contemporary lampwork glass marbles by Joe Holford and Frank Scott
Lampwork Marbles - View B
Why are marbles being sold at a bead show?  Because many beads are created from glass, and some glass artists also make marbles, lucky for me... 

The 10 marbles I bought at the Bead show where the first artist marbles I had bought in a decade or more.  (I probably haven't bought artist marbles since before I had children, and my oldest child is 17.)  It was very exciting for me to see the 'state of the art' glass work which is being done today, some of which you can see in the marbles I bought.  
Contemporary glass marble by Joe Holford
Lampwork Marble made by Joe Holford

Walking through the show, I could see an explosion of glass talent first hand.  I felt I was observing a renaissance of glass creation.  Thousands of today's glass artists are creating with the material and energy and knowledge that was unavailable in previous centuries.
Contemporary Lampwork glass marble by Joe Holford
2 views of a Marble (made by Joe Holford)
In the last 1-2 decades, glasswork has become a form of art available to hobbyists.  Equipment, specialty glass, and instructors (and even video lessons) have resulted in the number of glass artists exploding.  These people, at many different levels of skill, experiment and create glass objects.  Glass workers are re-discovering techniques and processes, (glass working has been around since 2000 BC); and experimenting with new ones.  Today's glass artists are creating in a new world - a time with access to energy and materials and knowledge unavailable to glass workers of the past. 

Here are some example: Working glass requires temperatures from 900-1800 degrees C.  In previous centuries, the fuel required to heat glass (mostly wood) competed directly with the fuel needs of people for heat and food.  Glass working was sometimes banned because of the amount of fuel required to heat glass.  Another example is the ability for today's glass artists to order their glass materials with precise chemistries - centuries ago, workers often formulated their own glass.
Contemporary glass marble by Joe Holford
2 views of a Marble (made by Joe Holford)
I love touching and looking at these mini marvels of glass work.  I am looking forward to seeing what the glass artists create next year.  

Here are some notes:  
  • For my other post on marbles, click here.
  • I am interested in knowing which of the photo mosaic you like more - Version A or Version B.  Let me know if you have an opinion. 
  • Seven marbles in this post were made by Joe Holford
  • Three marbles in this post were created by Frank Scott - The green one, the one with stars, and the one with flowers.
Click on any image to see it larger
If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
mosaic heart stepping stone
Angel Window
Stained Glass

I am linking to these parties:
Running with Glitter Mon 22 (Entry 58 of 217).
Dittle Dattle: Amaze Me Mon 37 (Entry 60 of 288).
BNOTP: Metamorphis Monday 134 (Entry 99 of 255.)
Making the World Cuter (Entry 9 of 128) h
Uncommon Slice: Tues Treasures (Entry 7 of 161.)
Diamond: Time to Shine 31 (Entry 74 of 89)
Anything Goes 30 (Entry 70 of 121.) 
Savvy Style: Wow Us Wed 27 (Entry 21 of 282.)
Beach Cottage: Good Life Wed (Entry 9 of 115)
No Minimalist Here: Open House (Entry 24 of 123) 
Very Merry Vint: Share the Love Wed (Entry 1 of 54).
Ginger: Wow Me Wednesday 12 (Entry 23 of 351.) 
Designer Garden: VIP Party 24 (Entry 36 of 94) 
Charm of Home: Home Sweet Home 28 (Entry 49 of 82)
Thrifty Grove: Thrifty Things Fri 21 (Entry 15)


Susan said...

I have to say, your marbles are the most gorgeous I have ever seen. Loved them. Susan

Porch Days said...

Wow! I have never seen marbles like that. Lovely! I enjoyed playing marbles as a child but they were the usual swirly kind. Nancy

eileeninmd said...

I've never seen marbles so pretty. The colors and designs are beautiful. Cool mosaic, I hope you have a great week.

Glenda said...

really love your marbles and i love them too., takes me back to my childhood but they weren't that amazing when I was little,.love glenda

Snap said...

What fun! Love this post. Full of color and information about the making of these lovely marble/beads. Great collection!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my word, they are fabulous. Such pretty ones and they look wonderful on display. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

alwayscharlie said...

These are amazing and fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing them. And because you asked, I found A more appealing than B (but I don't know why....)

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

This looks great. I would love for you to stop by My Dream Canvas. Take care Anu

Patti said...

What a fun thing to collect..and they are beautiful, too! Displaying them in milk glass is just perfect to show them off!

Pamela said...

These are beautiful! My oldest son says he wants some!:) Thanx for sharing with us over at Treasure Hunt Thursday:)

Coloradolady said...

You have an amazing collection of marbles!! I love these made by the artist, they are enchanting. Happy VTT!

LV said...

We have had marbles all I lives, but nothing tike this. I thank these are awesome and stunning work of art. I love them, I can see why you like them.

Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes said...

These marbles are truly little works of art, each and every one. They are truly beautiful! They look lovely displayed in your milkglass candy dish, too!

very merry vintage style said...

These are beautiful! Thanks for adding this post to my Share the Love Wednesday link party!

abeachcottage said...

Gorgeous marbles! They all look so pretty with the patterns and the colours. Thanks for stopping by Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays and joining the party.

Anonymous said...

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Diann said...

These marbles are just beautiful! Little works of art. Thank you for sharing at TTF and have a fun weekend!

Cassy said...

Those are high class marbles unlike the ones I am used to play when I was a child.

Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Lynda @ Uber Savvy Buzzword said...

I have never seen marbles like this before- they are works of art. My son would adore them!

BeckyKay said...

These are just gorgeous! There is a place called The Moon Marble Company up in the Kansas City area that we visited last year. We were able to watch an artist make a marble from scratch. It was fascinating!

Sherry said...

What beautiful marbles! Love your collection. Thanks for showing them at Home Sweet Home!

The Tablescaper said...

These are so neat. I have never seen anything like them. Great to have you being a part of Seasonal Sundays. Sorry to be so late in getting to visit.

- The Tablescaper

GardenofDaisies said...

These are amazing marbles!!! Truly pieces of art. What a wonderful collection!
To answer you question about which mosaic I appeals to me more... A. But let me explain why. Because all the photos as together as one photo, it is easier when they are uniform. In this case centered and close to the same size But if the pictures were separate, the photos in B would be much more appealing to me. Not repetitive, better photo skills being put to work by approaching the object from an interesting angle, etc...
Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally - taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

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