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Japanese Satake Glass Lampwork Marble

I knew nothing about Satake glass until today when I was browsing handmade marbles on eBay and stumbled upon this gorgeous marble made by Japanese lampwork artist Ayako Hattori. As you can see by its soft colors and delicately detailed flowers and butterflies, it is something quite special. Bids have reached nearly $300 with three days left, so I won't be winning this one, but I did more research and learned about Satake glass and the Tonbodama technique the artist used.

Satake glass begins as lead-based, hand pulled glass rods.  Typically used in Japanese bead making, they are very soft and easily manipulated using lampworking (torches are used today). They come in a wide variety of gentle, vibrant, and sometimes translucent colors. If you think this marble is pretty, take a look at these Japanese beads.

As for the tondobama technique, I found an excellent video on YouTube illustrating it.

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Marble Trivia

An 'oxblood' marble is any marble containing a special color of glass that is opaque brownish red and about the color of a paving brick. This color has been used since the 1850s and is highly desired by collectors.