Although crystal balls offer glimpses into the uneventful future, glass balls grant what the overinflated orbs never could: a convexly curved view of the spinach stuck in your date's teeth. Inhabit homes with hued baubles with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of handcrafted glass floats at bellaballs, located on South Fawcett Avenue in Tacoma.
Originally used by Japanese fishermen to keep their nets from sinking, glass floats would frequently escape their netting and be found by treasure seekers on the beach. Two such treasure seekers were bellaballs' co-founders, glass artist Diane Hansen and designer Lesli Jacobs-McHugh, who quickly became fascinated with the strikingly gorgeous glass orbs and began making their own as decorative items. Today, each hand-blown bellaball is individually made by local artisans. Available in 75 rich colors, classic bellas all come stamped with a fig leaf gilded in sterling silver. Signature bellas, meanwhile, can be customized with 10 stamp designs—including a baby pram, a lucky horseshoe, and a pineapple—to commemorate occasions such as a birth, a new job, or successfully swallowing an entire pineapple. Choose from three varieties: 5" diameter traditional bellaballs ($40), 5" diameter bellalissimo balls with a patterned surface ($80, gallery only), or petite 3" diameter piccolo bellaballs ($28, gallery only).
Each bella appears to be delicate, but is actually quite strong—a message Lesli and Diane consider a symbolic reminder of both the fortitude of the human spirit and the clumsiness of the human fingers. Practice juggling and woo the tight-panted goblin king of your dreams with a few beautiful balls from bellaballs.
- Diane and Lesli combined their passion for life, beauty, and art to create a new business where their mission truly is all about giving ‘beautiful.’ – Tammy Robacker, Showcase
- The price is low enough that average people could buy some as gifts for wedding, anniversaries or other special occasions. They could sit in a China hutch or decorate a garden. – John Larson, Tacoma Weekly