Monday, June 28, 2010

An Interview with a Fellow Junkie....

This amazing collection of glass fishing floats belongs to Patrick. I recently befriended Patrick on Facebook after he joined my Glass Fishing Float Collectors group. He lives in Malaysia & is also a glass float enthusiast. He answered a few questions for me regarding glass floats.

1. How did you become interested in glass fishing floats?

P: I became interested since encountering them while hunting for wild boars. Never knew anything about it before. Was forewarned by local people about taking them home. They believed they housed evil spirits. That fired me even more.

2. Where do you find them?

P: In the littoral forest bordering the beach in my country. I have traveled the length and breadth of my country hunting them down. I guess there are not many left to be collected. From analysis of currents and winds, I conclude that the balls arrived here via freak storms/tsunamis originating from Japan, Taiwan, Korea....some 40-50 years ago. They were pushed way beyond the high tide zone, stashing them away for decades. Moss has covered many of those I have collected. Many have been covered by sea sand and re-exposed by wild boars digging for food.

3. What types of floats do you usually find?

P: From 1"-14" balls. We find very few 14" balls though. There are also rolling pins, sausages, a bullet roller, half of a binary & others but nothing compared to yours. You are the champ.

4. What is your favorite float?

P: A very black-brown 6" ball, beating my bullet and all others for good reason.

5. How long did it take you to collect all of the floats in the photo?

P: 4 years, but the rate of strikes has diminished. That's why I have time to weave nets to hang them up. Hahaha!

6. How many floats do you think you have?

P: Big & small - a thousand plus-minus. All self found and all authentic. All definitely my darlings! Ah, I fight tooth and nail with my family for space! Hahahaha!

Patrick also mentions that shards of glass floats that are found on rocky beaches are also considered treasures.

Here are a few more floats from Patrick's vast collection.

Patrick with his daughter after a long day of beachcombing.

Sausage roller

Hokkaido roller

A float buried in the sand. Patrick says the wild boars had dug it up.

An American made float found on the beach in Malaysia. It's been on a long journey!

Taiwanese float with the "pie seal"

Patrick with a Tohoku roller

Bullet roller

Thank you so much, Patrick, for answering my questions & sharing your floats with us! May you have many more successful float hunting trips & continue to find these amazing treasures!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

gLaSs fLoAt gIvEaWaY!!!!

As I was sorting through all of my amazing glass floats, this little voice inside my head said...."Hey, you should give some of these things away!!! It would make someone's day to win such a cool prize. I mean, after all, who wouldn't want a glass float that spent years & years & years floating on the ocean currents until it finally got tossed onto a remote beach by the pounding surf???". So, I am listening to that voice.

Check it out.............

Tell your friends. Matter of fact, just tell everyone!!! Good luck to you all & if you don't win, you can always go here!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Super Spectacular Bead Giveaway...

I heard about this bead giveaway & I thought I'd forward the info to you just in case some of you would be interested. It's a pretty cool prize. Go check out Denise's blog to enter.

Here's the stash of goodies you could win!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lucky Ducks....

As some of you may know, finding a glass fishing float on the beach is typically a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have many people write me & tell me about their experiences & how they have scoured the beaches for years in search of the elusive glass fishing float. For many on the West coast, this spring, the ocean has washed many floats onto shore compliments of the strong west winds & stormy weather. Several people have said they braved the wind & weather just to be the first on the beach at high tide to see what might have washed ashore. Here is a photo from a fellow beachcomber. He found this float along the Washington coast in his "top secret" location! They found 3 that day.

Here is another photo of a float as they found it on the beach on a different day. This float was at the high tide line, along with lots of driftwood, garbage & even a shoe! These 2 photos were taken by R. Hannigen.

Another lucky beachcomber sent me the following photo. She & her daughter found these between March 27th & April 1st of this year. The large green float, known as a "garbage ball", was found out to sea just off the coast near Newport, OR. The 2 on the bottom left were found on the beach near the Peter Iredale shipwreck near Warrenton, OR. Photo by E. McMaster.

Well, I feel very fortunate that out of all the times I have gone in search of glass floats, I have always found many. The most I have ever brought home at once was just over 1,000 & we picked those up in 2 days! The sea still has millions of glass floats riding the ocean currents. And, there are still millions in Japan that sit abandoned in old gear sheds & piled up in garbage dumps.

Here are a couple of photos from a beachcombing trip near Cold Bay in May 2008. It was quite successful & most fabulous!! The photo below was actually taken in a dune behind the beach. Often the surf tosses the floats many yards off the beach. Near Cold Bay, we found a lot of floats off of the beach in various locations. I know there were many more buried in the sand, but it would take far too long to search for them all!

Mr. Brown Bear nearly stepped on this beauty! If you go beachcombing in the spring, you have to take a big gun! There are all kinds of critters running around!

I will post information soon about how to determine an authentic float from a "fake" or reproduction float. Feel free to contact me with any questions! I am always happy to share my knowledge whenever I can.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some Floats from My Collection...

I do have a substantial collection of glass fishing floats, but below are a few of my "fancy" floats!!

This is a Rare Orange Snakeskin & yes, it is an authentic glass float! These types of floats were used in Japan in the octopus fishery primarily in the 1960's. They were encased in a stainless steel wire cage & attached to a metal jig with numerous hooks, then submerged deep into the ocean. The thought behind the color is that it would help to attract the octopus. They also come in red, yellow, blue & green. This float hasn't been used. It was found in an abandoned shed in Japan. I purchased it from another collector last year. It is, by far, my favorite float because orange is my favorite color!! A yellow snakeskin is known to have been beachcombed along the Oregon coast in 2003 & I had someone write me 2 years ago about a blue one that had been found along the British Columbia coast. Sadly, most are probably lost at the bottom of the ocean.

This is a 14" diameter float with Cobalt Blue Swirls. The swirls are created when another color of glass gets mixed in during the glass blowing process. This is a hand blown Japanese glass fishing float. I acquired it from another collector a couple of years ago. The net on it is original. Isn't it amazing????

This is a Rare Kanji Roller. I found it in an antique store along the Oregon Coast. It is a version of the Tohoku roller. It has a combination of kanji & katakana symbols. It is believed that when translated, it means "special picture".

I have many, many more fabulous floats, but I will post more another time. If you'd like to see some additional photos of floats in my collection now, you can visit my website.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Little Landscaping Idea with Glass Floats!

I found a little wooden boat & decided to turn it into a yard decoration! It had blue paint all over it that was chipping, so I got as much off of it as I could. I left hints of it because I thought it added character. I lined it with a pond liner, put in some drainage holes, filled it with soil, planted petunias & some other good stuff, put wood chips on the top & finished it off with some floats. I also put the cracked or damaged floats I find in my flower beds.

That's Sadie in front of the boat & my cat, Josie, in the background.

An Etsy Find....

I found this great print, In the Sea, on Etsy today. It seems appropriate for my life these days, and of course, it's "beachy"! Thanks, Mae, for creating this lovely piece of art! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What do you do with all those rocks & shells you pick up on the beach??

I've recently accumulated quite a few rocks, agates & shells from the beach. I decided to make an attempt at growing a little bamboo plant. I thought this might work. I added a tiny glass fishing float. We'll see if I can keep him alive!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sorting through "new" floats...

I was unable to go beachcombing recently, so I had someone pick up a few glass fishing floats off the beaches of the Aleutians over the past few weeks. I just sorted through about 250 floats. It is, by far, one of my favorite things to do. It is like opening up gifts on Christmas morning. I look at each float individually & classify them into different categories. I started listing a few in my Etsy store.

Here is a photo of them before I cleaned them & another of them sitting in the tub of water I use to clean them. I will be listing more in my store within the next few days! I found some beauties! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Remembering my Grandfather....

This post has nothing to do with glass fishing floats, but something much more important. I recently lost one of the most important people in my life. My hero. My grandfather. He was an amazing man. He taught me many to drive in the pasture when I was 13, how to play cards & dominoes, how to make tents out of sheets when I was a little girl, how to jump rope with licorice, how to stand on my head, how to pick the perfect watermelon, along with many other odd & end things. The most significant thing he taught me was how important family is. For that, I am grateful.

I miss him dearly, but I find comfort knowing that he is with my Grandmother & the rest of our family that has passed. I have many memories to reflect on throughout the rest of my life. I was fortunate to have had him in my life as long as I did. He was 93 years old.

Grandpa, I love you & will miss you always.