I’m really excited about this week’s Friday Photo Challenge, hosted by Chania at Razmataz. The topic this week is CLOSER. Zoom in close to something and see if it becomes unrecognizable…
Can you guess what this is?? (OMG, I just realized it looks like a nipple!! It isn’t, I swear!!)
It’s made from a delicate material, but it’s withstood the elements for thirty or more years.
Here’s another one:
They’ve travelled thousands of miles, but never on a boat or plane or car or train.
Do you know what they are yet?? Maybe this shot from a bit farther out will help you…
Did you guess yet?? Here’s one more:
They’re Japanese glass floats.
I first learned about glass floats on Maya’s blog, Completely Coastal. She wrote this post about Kamichia. Kamichia collects glass floats from beaches along the Alaskan coastline. The majority of floats that they find are Japanese. Some are Korean. I’m not a glass float expert, but I think the difference between them is that the Japanese floats are one solid piece of blown glass, whereas Korean floats are made in molds and have a sort of dappled finish and seams where the sections of the mold met.
Norway was the first country to start producing and glass fishing floats around 1840. Fisherman started using them in 1844 when small egg-sized floats were used with fishing line and hooks, and to support fishing nets. By the 1940s, Europe, Russia, North America, and Japan were all using glass floats almost exclusively.
Today, lucky beachcombers can find Japanese and Korean floats on the West Coast of North America, and European glass floats can be found on the East Coast of North America and in the Caribbean.
I would LOVE to have a float like this one, but from what I’ve read, they’re really rare:
Yep, it’s purple!! But it most likely started out clear — this float has been sunturned. The sun literally turned the glass purple over the years that it was exposed to the elements.
Isn’t it amazing that these floats, made from something as delicate as glass, were able to withstand the force of the waves and arrive safely on beaches thousands of miles away from where they started their journeys?? The glass is actually quite thick, and the floats are heavier than they look.
My three floats are Japanese. The large blue one and smaller green one were discovered by Kimichia — she sells them in her Etsy store, GlassFloatJunkie. The third small netted float came from Etsy seller lightinawormhole.
I love the net markings on the larger blue float. They were created as the wind, water, and sand wore down the exposed glass over the years and
I like the bubbles in the small green float, and the fact that it isn’t perfectly round. It’s cute and stubby :-)
The small blue netted float came with the name Bluebell.
I love how each float is different, yet they all relate to each other — two are blue, two are small, and two don’t have nets. I think they make a beautiful vignette :-)
Here are some examples of how glass floats can be incorporated into your home decor. A collection of glass floats looks great in a large bowl or dish…
This living room has lots of lovely elements — especially the three large floats on the coffee table :-)
The sunlight shining through these floats brings out the beautiful colours of the glass.
Don’t they look beautiful hanging outdoors in the sun??Jeffrey Bilhuber’s 1920’s Nantucket cottage.
The large netted glass float on the floor and the knotted ropes and glass floats in the basket add a touch of beachy beauty to this entry designed by Carter & Company.
Every time I walk by my glass floats, I have to stop and admire them. They’re so beautiful and look so delicate. Then I think about all the years they spent traveling across the ocean, and marvel at their strength and resilience. They truly are treasures of the sea.
Be sure to head back to Razmataz to check out more close-ups!!