The most common question we are asked is “What is the difference between a “Kugel” (Friendship Ball) and an Art Glass Witch Ball. A kugel does not have inner strands, and are often made with full color coverage. A witch’s ball or witch ball is usually made with stands or glass webbing inside. Color coverage is often limited, and / or transparent colors are used to allow one to see the strands inside.
Historically in cultures that accepted magic and magical practitioners, witch balls were made, and then blessed or enchanted by the local witch or medicine woman before being placed in the window of ones abode to forestall any negative energies or spirits that could cause ill will or sickness. In cultures that were fearful of the arcane, they were said to repel all of the above, along with witches spells and curses. The colors of the ball were said to attract any malevolent spirits. They are sometimes not that smart, so once entranced, the spirit would lean in just a hair too close and get ensnared within the strands encapsulated inside. Once encased inside of the ball, it was deemed harmless and the spirit would be dissipated by the morning sun. Today, they carry a much lighter meaning, normally used as a charm for the home. They have been said to be beneficial in repelling the following (But not limited to):
* Fiddling Crickets
*Invisible Stink Bugs
*Tap Dancing Spiders
For us, a witch ball, at first, is born in concept; a thought, feeling or environment we want to be able to artistically capture. Once we have found the perfect color combination and design to convey the concept, we go to work in front of the glass kiln. 2,000 degrees of hot, molten glass awaits, to be formed into the next beautiful piece of art glass. Pulling the glass onto the tip of the glass blowers pipe, the artist then works granulate color into the surface, creating unique patterns, and swirls of color on the hot, bubbled surface. The glass blob is mouth blown, while being further manipulated with the influences of fire, gravity, and the hand of man. Even though we work toward a certain design idea or concept, the forces of nature ultimately determine the unique outcome of each piece. After sizing the ball we add the pad and loop, so one can hang the finished witch ball.
The finished piece is something exclusive, a piece that only our art glass can provide. Once in your hand, you can see and feel the presence of something special, something of substance. Because of the amount of glass needed to provide the effect of a witch ball, it does have some weight to it. There may even be bubbles in the glass, air from the artist’s lungs, forever encapsulated. Your hand can feel each piece of melted, granulate color. As you are hypnotized by the outer workings, your eyes refocus to see the strands inside; the hidden gems. Each strand is hued with hints of the outer colors, each separate, but woven together, working in artistic harmony.
Our art glass designs are exclusive to our company. Even though we make hundreds of designs, each ball is literally unique, given the handmade process. So, you hold in your hand, a truly one of a kind piece, available only from us.