Thursday, October 25, 2012

Where art meets tract

Continuing my established schizoid pattern of interspersing serious social commentary with sheer indulgence, let me pick up where I left off regarding Erma's Nutrition Center

On my most recent birthday, my mother-in-law ruthlessly foisted a bit of cash upon me, insisting that I spend it on something "for myself".  I'm not really known for doing that, as anyone can tell by looking at my five-year-old clothing (or is it ten??) and general lack of cosmetic application.  Hence the admonishment.

I settled upon a few ball ornaments sold at Erma's and made by Kitras Art Glass (you can't miss them upon going into the store - they hang all throughout the front portion of it, by the windows).  The idea being that the investment benefited not only myself but also a local small business owner as well as a worthy artist who, himself, is also running a small business.  I run a small business myself.  I patronize small businesses to the extent possible.
There's not much accessible detail on the Kitras website itself because they seem to sell only to retailers - not directly to the public.  But here is a collection of representative images screengrabbed from Google.
Here are a few pics of the ones I picked up the other day:
This is one of the "tree" style ones.  Note that it's SIX INCHES in diameter.  This is what makes these things different from other art glass balls I've seen.  They are large enough to really make a visual impact if properly used in a decor design.

Here's a close-up of the surface of that tree ball.  Really unique stuff.

This one is called "Van Glow".
Does it look oddly familiar?

It should, because its design is a darned creative nod to this masterpiece.
"Starry Night" by Vincent VanGogh, photo screengrabbed from Wikipedia.
I really enjoy art glass, but with children and a dog running through the house, I hadn't really envisioned a scenario in which I could realistically incorporate any into our decor.  However, my thinking began to change when I noticed this growing trend:

Glass ball chandeliers by Bocci, if the source reference is correct.
What's really neat about these is the way they add such dimension to what was formerly just a featureless void of empty space.  This is ART.  Art for the home.  Very creative. 
Those are absolutely stunning, but can you imagine hanging an array of those over the average suburban family's dinner table??  There would come a great head-knocking, like a three-dimensional snooker table in action, and glass shards would garnish the food.  Absolutely beautiful to have them in a chandelier like those pictures show, but not really a practical choice for the average human.

AH, but I've got a potential alternate space that might enchantingly house a collection of them.  A much safer space where butting heads can't reach and our dog's tossed tennis ball is not likely to impinge upon "Vincent Van Glow" or his friends:

Just because it's a tract home doesn't mean that it has to look like one.  What if I could suspend a cascade of these things up inside this enormous and now-enchanting skylight shaft?
This is the reason why I finally got around to writing the skylight post about six months after completing it.  I needed it as a prerequisite to this present post. 

I don't know if this waterfall-of-art-glass idea will work well.  It might turn out to be one of those things that sounds good in theory but doesn't work visually.  The resonant blue of the shaft might mute out the colors of the balls to the point of making it underwhelming.  But when I get a chance, I'm going to start experimenting with it.  And if it doesn't work, I'll hang the things in a window.  It's a win either way. 

My Gyokuro is all consumed by this time, so I must get to work.

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