No one knows exactly how the game of marbles got started, but we do know that it’s been around for almost 5,000 years. Archaeologists have excavated ancient orbs from Mohenjo-Daro and ancient Egyptian sites. The marble then spread to other parts of the world. A marble is defined as a small, hard ball that is used in a variety of competitive games. The name comes from the fact that in the 18th century marbles were made from actual marble chips, but ancient games were played with smoothed pebbles from the sea, nuts, and even fruit pits.
This issue of The Flow celebrates the entrance of the marble as an art glass phenomenon, with its limitless designs, colors, and sizes—everything from the 100-pound Megaplanet created by Josh Simpson to the tiny ones featured on the table of contents page. To get a true picture of how small they really are, compare them to the quarter that is included next to them in the photo. In this fifth celebration of the marble, we include two galleries. One featuring thirteen submissions from our readers and the other gathered for us by marble collector extraordinaire, Zac Cohen, showing just how versatile the spherical shape can be.
Ro Purser, who is considered to be the father of the American Marble movement, tells his story in this issue as well, from the days when he started as a Marin County Renaissance Faire marble artist to his stunningly intricate, storytelling murrine marbles of today. It is an honor to be able to introduce such an iconic figure of the Contemporary Glass movement to many of our readers.
The Flow has also been fortunate to have worked with another iconic figure in contemporary glass, Bert Cohen. When it comes to marble collectors, there is one name that always rises above the rest, and that is “Marble Bert.” Bert Cohen passed away at the end of 2014 after spending many years playing a pivotal role in the advancement of contemporary marble collecting. His home in Boston was filled to the brim with thousands upon thousands of beautiful orbs. There are legends of visitors getting lost in Bert’s collection who did not resurface for several days. It is with great regret and great reverence that we dedicate this issue of The Flow to Bert Cohen, American icon.
As always . . . Keep your light shining and your torches lit!
Upcoming Deadlines for Submission
Fall 2015 Collaborative Art
Submission Deadline June 20, 2015
Winter 2015 11th Annual Women in Glass
Submission Deadline September 1, 2015
If you are interested in becoming a contributing artist for The Flow, visit www.theflowmagazine.com for a link to themes of upcoming issues, author guidelines, and submission forms.