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
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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)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

metal mirror with cherubs
Metal Mirror with Cherubs
Today I wanted to share a fancy high relief metal mirror I bought at a recent estate sale. 

Cherub detail on pewter mirror
Cherub detail on mirror top
The mirror's solid metal frame has four cavorting cherubs playing among elaborate scrolls and small flowers, reminding me of some Valentine fantasy.  The mirror glass is nicely beveled.  I was drawn to the mirror because of it's fun vintage styling.  
metal mirror with cherubs
Right corner cherub and scroll

I am saying this mirror has vintage styling, because I don't believe the mirror is very old at all.  The frame and mirror has a very "fresh" feel to it.  

metal mirror with cherubs
Edge Detail
The metal is shiny on the back, and has been blackened on the front, (possibly to mimic tarnish.)  The metal has a pewter feel to it, but if the metal really was pewter I think the surface finishing on the front would have been more even.  (I guess I think pewter would be fairly expensive).  The mirror is 20.5 inches by 15.5 inches (52 cm x 40 cm) at the widest dimensions.

What clinches my "recent product" guess is the back - a mirror glued in fast with fat runs of white silicon glue, with the contemporary thick black cardboard "dual use" frame back glued on over the mirror.  (You know the dual use frame thing - the frame can stand alone or be hung on the wall.)  Sorry, I didn't think to take a picture of the back.

Either way, I liked this mirror, and the price was under $15 for a fun piece.  It makes me smile.  What would you consider the style of this piece - baroque?  Victorian?  Shaker?

Let me know your opinion or if you have seen a similiar mirror for sale somewhere.

metal mirror bottom edge detail
Mirror Scrolls on bottom edge
Other fun details - I bought this with no idea where to hang it, so I hung it in my master bedroom (for now.)  There is a full length mirror within 3 feet of this mirror on another wall.  This mirror really would look better if it wasn't hung on a white wall - the dark finish is kind of too dark and I kind of wish it were lighter.   I hung the mirror about 2 inches too low, after struggling to center and hang it for about 1 hour.  AND, as I just now searched the mirror for a label, I now have to re-glue the mirror in.  ;) 

Click on any image to see it larger

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
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Batik Quilt

I am linking to these parties:
Charm of Home: Home Sweet Home 26 (Entry 60 of 80)
French Cupboard: French Inspiration (Entry 6 of 7)
Thrifty Grove: Thrifty Things Fri 19 (Entry 18 of 28)
Shabby Nest: Frugal Friday (Entry 176 of 437)
Picket Fence: Inspiration Fri 23 (Entry 139 of 227) 
Find Fab: Frugalicious Friday (Entry 82 of 186)
Tatertots: Weekend Wrap Up (Entry 267 of 675) 
Hodgepodge Friday (Entry 49 of 163)
Funky Junk: Sat Night Special 93 (Entry 42)
The Tablescaper: Seasonal Sunday (Entry 11)
I Heart Naptime: Sundae Scoop (Entry 242 of 341)
Mod Vintage: Mod Mix Mon 7 (Entry 21)
DIY: More the Merrier Mon 23 (Entry 201)
Roses: Show off your Cottage Mon (Entry 12)
Boogie Board: Masterpiece Mon 32 (Entry 2)
Dittle Dattle: Amaze Me Mon 36 (Entry 41)
BNOTP: Metamorphis Monday (Entry 110)
Making the World Cuter (Entry 115)
Southern Hosp: Thrifty Treasures (Entry 74)
* Stroll Life: Table Top Tues (Entry 40) 
* House of Grace: Twice Owned Tues (Entry 21) 
Sassy: Trash to Treasure Tues (Entry 16) 
Diamond: Time to Shine 27 (Entry )
Anything Goes 29 (Entry 57) 
No Minimalist Here: Open House (Entry 62) 
Very Merry Vint: Share the Love Wed (Entry 4)
Brambleberry Cottage: Time Travel Thur (Entry 24)