A Floating Surprise

Bella Balls in Tacoma makes glass floats, also known as Japanese fishing floats. But artists (and best friends) Lesli Jacobs-McHugh and Diane Hansen think of them as little bits of wonder. Used by the Japanese for centuries to hold up fishing nets, they would sometimes come loose and float among the waves for thousands of miles. Finding a ball washed up along the beach has always been a real treasure. After Jacobs-McHugh and Hansen both experienced the loss of a family member, they grew a deep interest in the floats. The floats seem to defy gravity as they were both delicate and beautiful yet strong enough to survive violent waters. The two along with a group of local artists and glassblowers started making their own glass floats and hid them all around Tacoma. It was their way of putting unexpected treasures back into the world. “As I remembered my mom and grieved her passing, I still smiled when I imagined someone coming upon a little bit of wonder, in the form of a glass ball,” Hansen said in her bio. Like spheres of beauty that can appear in the most unexpected times, these fishing floats represent more than delicate glass. Maybe you’ll find your own, maybe you’ll leave one for someone else, either way they’re a reminder that this world still has its treasures, even when times are tough.

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