I do not know when I developed my glass fetish; it was somewhere over the last twenty odd years in sorting through hundreds of tons of brown, green, and clear bottles for the solid waste industry. I learned that some of them were worth more than a remelt into something new. Maybe the imprinting goes back earlier to when there were still deposit soda bottles, and I could make a little extra eating and drinking money off the streets. Beer distributors were paying .40 to .50 cents a case for returns as well. I remember when the quart pop bottles had a bounty of a dollar a piece toward the end. Then everything became disposable.
There was a lull in my love affair with glass along the way.
Now that I am old and working on myself, I know that there are collectors in the world of about anything, glass included. While I am out there looking for the gems in all that cheap industrial glass, there are a whole bunch of pieces that did not make it into the current century in one chunk . Even more of those formed glass objects did not make it into the previous century. They are lying around in pieces at dump sites all around the edges of our civilization.
There are crafty things to do with all those little fragments, much like those jewelers along the coasts who are making and selling beach glass as jewelry. Yes, I have an old zinc lidded canning jar slowly filling up with that too.
I started experimenting with old chianti bottles and came up with a study in light and color called “Broken Treasures, I”. It had this layered effect of purpled and blue glass. It went for $5 at a flea market up near Sandpoint. I hope it is catching the light someplace still. I am about to finish off number V, also in layers of purpled glass with cobalt blue and red. Need to go grubbing out in the dead vehicle’s piles for more purple glass.
Now my “Broken Treasures” pieces are $10 items, and I am willing to find the light source for you if you want. You pick up the expenses of course, they can run high. Workshop and gallery visits are by appointment only. I really need to put my calling card and mobile number up on the door. I am out in the field often.
I lost my larger gallery space when I retired, so I need to win the lottery soon so I can afford to have a bigger area to display art projects. I suppose writing a best-selling novel would be just as useful as winning the lottery and serve nicely. Those 100 plus degree temperatures are a really good excuse to hide in my burrow and write. Field work can be taxing on a body.
The oldest glass I can remember seeing in my life was in a museum in Seattle. It was made in the Classical Period of Greece, and probably dated from the 3rd or 4th Century BC. It reminded me of a bit of Herat glass I have in a display case between my reproduction of a plaster bigfoot print and my stuffed allegator (a caiman really). It is a pale blue about the size of a demitasse cup, no handle. It has lots of air bubbles and looks like a breath of wind would shatter it. It is one of my treasured possessions because it is so fragile and probably could never be replaced. Looking for glass in Northern Afghanistan seems a little foolish right now.