July 23, 2010

Japanese glass fishing net floats.

P1000851

They broke free of their nets and floated all the way to America. I'd never heard of these things before, but people collect them. We'd been looking for the perfect gazing globes for the window box, and then we noticed these things in the window of a cool store here in Madison called Unearthed. The floats themselves are more unoceaned than unearthed, though, don't you think?

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Here's a blog about Japanese fishing floats.

20 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

Copacetic is how they'd call it in New Jersey.

I am sure the Japanese have their own aesthetic terms.

MadisonMan said...

I like Unearthed, but the stuff there is too cool for my decor.

Titus said...

Love em, buy em, now....girl.

And I am not tighty whitey.

Be in Madison in three weeks, dindin L'Etoile-on me, natch.

MadisonMan said...

I have always thought that the stuff in Unearthed would be perfect for a rustic cabin furnished Just So.

Too bad I don't own a Rustic Cabin up nort.

I was surprised to read that L'Etoile has moved to the FIrst Wisconsin Building (Sorry, I still call it that). I thought L'Etoile's charm derived in large part from its location in an old building. Not sure how it will translate to something modern. Of course, I've not eaten at L'Etoile in -- goodness -- 15 or 20 years, so they probably don't care what I think :)

edutcher said...

Isn't the ocean part of the Earth?

Ann Althouse said...

L'Etoile is moving to a new location: http://www.letoile-restaurant.com/

It should be open by the end of July.

Ann Althouse said...

L'Etoile has needed some updating, I think.

The last few times I was there, it seemed geriatric. Too stuffy. I hate when you're making a reservation and they ask if it's a special occasion. And I double hate when you say no, and then when you arrive, they ask you again. It's like they're warning you that this is a place that people only go to when they're celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. That's not a good vibe. No matter how expensive the place is, they should act like you'd come by any day because you want some great food.

I was always tempted to say: "Yes, it is a special occasion. I'm here."

dbp said...

Backpacking along the Pacific coast in Washington I found 7 or 8 of these in different colors and sizes. I kept one for my mom and gave the rest to a girl I thought I would end-up with.

They were mostly weathered to a satiny finish by the action of sand and waves.

MadisonMan said...

L'Etoile is open now at their new location. Link.

John Cunningham said...

When I lived in Alaska, these were hot collectors' items. Glass had been phased out sometime in the 1970s or 80s, replaced with mere plastic. The coolest of all were the ones which had water inside; they had been submerged so deep that water had seeped in without breaking it.

Eric said...

I was always tempted to say: "Yes, it is a special occasion. I'm here."

Heh. Why don't you?

Eric said...

Glass fishing net floats... that doesn't seem very practical. When you draw in the net, wouldn't they smash each other to bits? Weird.

dick said...

Hot collector's items in New England, especially in Maine when I lived there in NH in the late 1980's and early 1990's. I had a friend with a house built in 1765 who decorated the wall beside his fireplace with a strung out net with some of the glass net floats scattered around. really looked great.

Golden West said...

Eric, They didn't smash themselves and break because they were generally wrapped and knotted with rope. I have one bigger than a basketball that still has the rope intact. It came from a Navy Seal who practiced his search and rescue skills by spotting the floats with binoculars from a helicopter and then rappelling into the ocean to pluck them out.

traditionalguy said...

In Big A the finer restaurants have your name in their computers, and the regulars get great treatment. The trick is remembering whose name made the first reservation. I would think the name of Ann Althouse would have become very familiar in Madison over the years...unless your male friend always made all the reservations.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I have two of them, four-inchers. In my misspent youth I was a salmon buyer in the wilds of Alaska. I lived on a float house in the middle of nowhere. The fishermen would fish all day and then pitch off their catch in the gloaming. I would write them a check and work into the night icing down the fish. That left all day for exploring my little cove in a skiff. I found the balls floating in the kelp. One of them has a crack in the "button" where it was cut off the glass blowing tube, and there are a couple of tablespoons of water inside. I picked up that ball twenty-eight years ago, and the water is still inside. Sorry if I'm being boring-- glass fishing floats bring back memories.

sykes.1 said...

This floats are a lot more interesting than the faux art produced by Dale Chihuly that litters many museums.

knox said...

Wow: those are just sublime. I've never seen or even heard of them. There aren't many nice, non-cheesey gazing globes out there.

rana said...

I just saw an entire box of these outside a shanty in Fishtown in Leland, Michigan, for $8 each, some with their knotted rope netting still attached. The shanty stores there do not accept credit cards and I didn't have enough cash with me to buy any, but they are certainly lovely.

Darcy said...

Very cool find. I'd love some of these. I've generally disliked the glass ornaments in people's yards, but these are interesting because they weren't made for that purpose.

I have collected a few of the glass insulators for the old telephone lines. I love them. Very decorative as well.