Simple and beautiful with a surprisingly practical and sustainable history: the Fishing Float.
A Collectible with a Past
Sturdier than they appear, glass fishing floats (sometimes called Japanese fishing floats) were – and occasionally still are – used to stabilize fishing nets in the open waters by fishermen.
Back in the day (say, 50 to 100 years ago) many were handmade from recycled saké bottles, a bit of air trapped in each one prior to sealing with hot glass. With the air inside, they’d float. There were various sizes and a few main colors: blues and greens … usually with tiny bubbles still in the glass. Reds, golds and purples were less common and are prized for their rarity today.
Still out there?
Plastic floats have long since replaced the glass ones for net fishing. But yes! Hundreds (if not thousands) of old glass floats are still out in the oceans. Some trapped in sand bars waiting for the moment of erosion to fall back to sea. Some continuously circling until the current or a storm washes them ashore. No longer produced for fishing, finding one on the shore is now rare, and all the sweeter if you happen upon one.
But the desire for the beauty and the mystery of these object lives on. And a decorator’s market has emerged. Any and every color can be made new by glass blowers who make them in the spirit of the original fishing floats.
Lost at Sea, Found on Shore
Many thousands of authentic glass fishing floats have washed up on North American shores over the years. Some with and without bits of netting still woven around the sturdy glass balls.
Addictively collectible, these, for some, are a beachcomber’s treasure. For others, a symbol of simplicity, when the cycle of floats, nets and fishing fed the world for generations. For still others, a pretty yet functional piece of history.
Every Shade is Available
Whether you want to display floats indoors or out, you have an entire palette to choose from. We make new floats in a variety of sizes and colors every week. Order an odd number of floats to start your collection and keep adding for special seasons, color collections in each room, for your favorite beach comber collector and more.
Our handblown floats are a beautiful, tasteful gift, suitable for any space of any size.
Add to – or start – a collection today. Order here!
Buy Our Blown Glass Floats Below