One year ago I opened my little shop in Newport Beach.
When I unpacked my nicest brightest treasures onto the white Ekby Jarpen shelves [the affordable Ikea version of String Shelving] and there was SO much glassware it surprised me to realise I was a such a bowerbird.
Actually, FYI, not a true bowerbird, as the crazy glass-and bright- object-collecting-bird is in fact, the male. They spend hours decorating their bachelor pad to pull a bird.
Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you…
Chuck Palahniuk [I'm re-reading Fight Club]
So, yeah, where was I? I opened the shop… To deliver myself from Swedish furniture and clever art. To let it go and to share the love.
Lots of glass. It’s kind of a thing. Light and light catching and lovely to look at, the amazing shapes it can form, the reflections it creates, it’s numerous uses… And its made from sand. Incredible really.
Over the last year I’ve learned a thing or two. About the pontil mark on the base [how you tell it if it's hand blown as opposed to coming from a mould] and casings [the white coating inside which makes it more opaque] and some of my favourite makers:
Danish Holmegaard [pronounced Hull-meh-gore] and American Blenko [not much here in Australia that I've seen] Iitala from Finland and Italian Murano [sometimes a bit fussy].
I’m no expert though, clearly.
Having only just discovered Italian Empoli glass and realised a lilac genie bottle I sold earlier in the year was probably worth double the price.
Anyway whatever.. sometimes it’s hard to know without stickers or makers marks, though the quality usually is obvious…so like the excited little bowerbird, I just pick up what I like. Not to attract a mate [in fact it was having the opposite effect, all that stuff taking over his garage] but because it’s purty. And to quote John Keats and the movie version of Willy Wonka
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.