White on clear glass baubles part blown then hot dipped into grains of red, yellow, gold, and a little violet or blue, then turned, twisted, and blown to create unique organic effects, reminiscent of Hokusai or Sanraku, globules of inky transparency over golden reticulation like gnarled boughs against leaden skies.
Christmas, the winter solstice, the midwinter festival, a time of feasting and celebration, of rebirth as the days lengthen, of potlatch, of gift giving, of excess, of a final and glorious exhaustion of the summers bounty before the coming of the winter famine months, of cold, and death, and starvation.
We're often asked 'What use is a bauble?' Understandably perhaps, and also (I think) mistakenly. For too often utility is measured solely in the most simple mechanical terms, in the language of physics, of industry, education, or housekeeping; but surely to do so is to overlook the most primitive (and therefore ineluctable) and subtly complex demands of the human psyche. In short I suspect Christmas, the winter festivities, and their many equivalents to be no mere frivolities, but in fact as crucial to our existence as the bread we eat and the shelter we seek, as not only do they strengthen the bonds that exist between us but they form too the beacons around which we (consciously or otherwise) have for millennia structured our lives. So just as the accoutrements of play are useful in the development of a child's mind, so are those of the feast in the binding of a society.