Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vintage Glass Insulators

Glass has always been one of my favourite media. It's translucency and texture can work in tandem to make mundane objects appear really beautiful. It strikes me as odd that there's such a fascination by some photographers for assemblages of detritus from beaches and riverbeds. I prefer even more obscure pieces such as industrial tools and rolls of rusted wire to give a sense of nature reclaiming some of the materials we have taken to produce objects. If you look at domes on buildings in Europe you'll quite often note that they can be covered with a green patina of verdigris. This oxidation of the copper gives us the sense that time is smoothing down the impact of our handiwork. Maybe it's natures way of showing who's the boss!

Back to glass...I used to see glass insulators on the top of telegraph poles in rural NSW. You'd watch them pass by as you lay on the rear seat of your parents car willing yourself to finally arrive at the next town. Ours were predominantly white but I have since discovered that in the USA there's a plethora of colours to choose from. If you troll the dark recesses of Etsy (or simply search under glass insulators) you'll see how diverse these relics of our technology are. Yes, the light shining through them is beautiful. Yes, the colours look enticing. My question to you is what would you use them for (other than bookends) in your home? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

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