Sunlight streaming through the windows gives glass fishing floats an irresistible glow
The first time I laid eyes on a bowl filled with glass fishing floats was eighteen years ago at a friend’s house. I was captivated and, at that moment, the hunt was on. The area has many antique stores; surely I would come across my bowl full. It was several years later before I spotted a few in a window, and more inside. Jackpot! I enjoy the hunt and finding vintage items that make my heart sing day in, day out.
Although glass floats are most always referred to as originating in Japan, they also come from Korea, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Portugal and England. Glass Float Junkie is one online source. The website has numerous marking photographs for reference. The top, left photo in the mosaic shows the sealing button [on the left] and the marking [on the right] on one of my larger floats. Old floats can run hundreds of dollars, but new curio floats are just a beautiful. These less expensive, colorful versions can be used in mass for decorating around the home. I have used floats in a front porch fountain and backyard pond. They are beautiful when used to fill glass hurricanes and apothecary jars or a clear lamp base. In our last home, I kept several baseball size floats in a greenhouse window at my kitchen sink. Currently in the sunroom, smaller finds fill a wire basket that belonged to my great grandfather [first photo]. Wherever floats are kept, the sunlight induced rainbow glow is irresistible.
Round floats come in many sizes, beginning with golf ball. These are basketball size and my largest [not shown] is beach ball size. Tiny bubbles of air within smooth walls of a float represent they were hand blown. Molded floats will have a slight ridge where the two mold pieces met. The frosted surface of a float is caused by it rolling back and forth across sand. Each float is unique with its own imperfections, bubbles and shape. Colors vary from green, to brown green, to purple and a variety of hues in between. Whatever colors make your heart sing, explore the Internet or the northwest coast until your bowl is full. Happy hunting!
(Sources: Gems of the Ocean, Nautical Tropical, Northwest Magazine)
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