Friday, May 19, 2006

Have You Lost Your Marbles?

Anemone Marble - Kevin Ivey

Who knows why we are fascinated with marbles, but boys and their toys and girls with their pearls go way back. We know that the ancient Romans played a game referred to as “nuts” with clay marbles, and engraved clay marbles have been found in ancient mounds across North America. Marbles have been made out of clay, stone, wood and any other material that can be fashioned into a round ball, but the media we are most often familiar with today is glass. Contemporary glass artists are making some spectacularly beautiful marbles, and collectors are snatching them up.

Dichroic glass is a very popular choice with glass artists today, especially so when creating marbles, because of its properties of having more than one color and when viewed from different angles, has a sparkle effect, much like a cut gemstone. Dichroic glass is actually a product created by the space industry, and was first used as an interference filter for precise scientific measuring. To create this effect, glass artists use a thin layer of metallic oxides including magnesium, silicon and titanium at high temperatures.

Galaxy Marble - Kevin Ivey

Kevin Ivey, of San Antonio, Texas, is a self-taught glass artist who began blowing glass in 2000. He has since become obsessed with the form, shape, color, and texture of glass. Kevin is often inspired by music, art, and nature. His glass marbles, most of them the oversized kind, are popular with collectors.

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