Friday, May 15, 2020

Japanese Glass Fishing Floats - My Collection

I promised to show you more of my collection so today is the day!  This one was my first score.  I lived on a houseboat and the people next door had a couple big ones on their deck and I admired them.  I went to a marine supply store on Hayden Island and lo and behold.. sitting on the floor was this big awesome vintage specimen and I had to have it.  :-)  The rope netting had separated so I found some similar sisal rope, old rope, and went about repairing it and to my delight, I can hardly see where I fixed it.  :-)

Not only is it the quintessential aqua color but it has a "kanji"  symbol mark near the pontil.  Can anyone tell me what this says?  I knew at one time but have forgotten.

Early floats, including most Japanese glass fishing floats, were handmade by a glassblower. Recycled glass, especially old sake bottles, was typically used and air bubbles in the glass are a result of the rapid recycling process. After being blown, floats were removed from the blowpipe and sealed with a "button" of melted glass before being placed in a cooling oven. While floats were still hot and soft, marks were often embossed on or near the sealing button to identify the float for trademark. These marks sometimes included 'kanji' symbols.

This one is cool as you can see it's been wrapped and repaired and has obviously been used in the fishing industry.

These were the original recyclers as they melted down old used bottles to make these and that is why they are all different colors and each is unique.

Don't you love how this was wrapped and repaired with whatever they could find?

This is the biggest one and I love the olive green color.

One of the ones from Kristi's grandfather's collection.

I wish I had a better place to display them all, the big ones "live" under our baby grand piano.  :-)

This one from Kristi is FABULOUS.. it's a great color with a very nice stamped mark on it.

I'd love to know what it says.  Betsy, can you ask your son to translate it, please?  :-)

I bought some heavy rope and twined it together to make a stand for this one.  

The whole lot minus a couple I didn't put out there.  Tell me.. which one is your favorite?

A closeup of one of the barnacles.

See the barnacles on this one?  I love them.

I thought this was a fun photo of the inside of my fave old one.

Well.. I hope you enjoyed learning something about these wonderful historic items.  You can learn more of the history of these by googling.  Thanks for visiting!!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)  


  1. How beautiful they are! I can't believe they were used in the water. My mom had a collection of vintage crab pot floats from our Bay but they are all made of foam. They looked so pretty hanging on her fences but nothing like your beauties! Araignee

  2. You have done it again, my Friend...produced my favorite post! As for my favorite float of your collection I am torn between the aquamarine one encased in knots and the olive green one with barnacles. Thank you for sharing the interesting beauty with us. ((hugs))

  3. I vote for the olive green one with the barnacles! What a wonderful collection, thanks so much for sharing.

  4. I love the aquamarine ones. I had already planned to tell you that I'll send Alex a photo when I saw your request. Of course I'll send it to him! You have such a beautiful collection of floats. Everytime we stay in Lincoln City I have high hopes that we'll find a hidden one but no luck so far.

  5. Fantastic Teresa so interesting and they are all beautiful 😀😀

  6. These floats are absolutely gorgeous Teresa, I am blown away by the combination of simple beauty and practicality. I love the repairs very much, too. And the barnacles! I know what I'll do next time it rains... search the internet for floats that are sold locally here. I'd love to have one in my garden. Have a wonderful weekend xx

  7. ooo. They are lovely. Love the old ropes.

  8. Those are all so beautiful Teresa! I'd love to find one sometime. I like the blue ones best.

  9. They are stunning Teresa and the barnacles just fabulous. Have a lovely weekend. Stay safe hugs xxx

  10. They are beautiful. I like your fist one best.

  11. I had never heard of Japanese Glass Fishing Floats. I vote for the olive green one as my favorite but they're all very lovely and unique.

  12. How interesting, I have seen them but didn't realised they we being collected, and why not, they are so lovely. I like the small ones inside the lantern; I can see you need quite a space to accommodate a collection,

  13. Your collection is amazing Teresa. I love all of them. Stay safe my friend.

  14. As we speak Teresa, Zach and another friend in Mexico, I believe she is Canadian, are doing macrame for their plants! The globes are just so lovely!!! Thanks for a shining spot in my day

  15. Thank you for sharing your beautiful collection, Teresa! Living on the East Coast we don't have such beauties wash on our shores. The lovely teal is my favorite, but honestly they are all gorgeous. Thanks for giving us such a lovely history lesson on these beauties.

  16. Nice collection. Too bad everything has turned to plastic now. I love the blue ones and that pretty shade of green.


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