What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Hope Floats


Eben Horton

Wakefield, Rhode Island, glass artist Eben Horton was well-known and respected for his gorgeous, soft-colored, marbled glass objects, but he wanted to do something to add surprise and mystery to his work. So in 2009, he began the Glass Float Project, making and hiding glass fishing floats like the kind used hundreds of years ago along the beaches and walking trails of Block Island. When people come across them, they feel like they’ve discovered treasure.

In a way, the idea for the project was planted early. His father was a curator at the Newport Art Museum, and his family was fond of sailing to nearby Block Island. As a child, Horton spent a lot of time searching the island’s beaches for treasure. The glass bottles he found on the island combined with his father’s love of art inspired Horton’s interest in making glass.

Every year, Horton hides 550 hollow, hand-blown clear glass balls around the island, each sealed with an image of Block Island, a date and number, and the project’s URL. Horton makes each year’s float #1 extra special by incorporating gold leaf, and he makes a limited number of special colored balls as well.

“The rules are simple. If you find one, Keep it!! If you find another, please leave it so that someone else can find it. We ask that if you find one, please register your find with the Block Island Tourism Council on their website. Registering your float helps us keep track of how many floats are out ‘in the wild’.”

You can follow Horton on his website, on The Glass Station’s website, and on Facebook. You can learn more about the Glass Float Project on its website and you can donate to the project on GoFundMe.

All images property of Eben Horton/The Glass Station.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

17 thoughts on “Hope Floats

  1. This is such a beautiful project! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this. We vacationed on Block Island for ten summers. We’ve forsaken it lately for warmer waters in the Caribbean, but I think of it all the time and really miss it. I love the glass and enjoyed your post. We live in the east coast town of Glassboro, so named because of the glassblowing industry here. I will visit the website link. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This reminds me so much of the book 36 Views of Mt. Fuji by Cathy Davidson. There is a whole section of her scouring an island for glass floats and giving them as gifts to people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a very cool abandoned art project. It really would feel like discovering treasure to happen upon one of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now this would be fun. I woder if any of them float out to sea and are found in a distant place.
    I once did a ‘Butterfly drop’ in Carthage. Leaving three clues the person who found it got $ 250.0 to give to their favorite charity. Oh ..and I got to decorate the wooden butterfly that I hid. It was fun .

    Liked by 1 person

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