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Nautical Decorating with Fishing Glass Floats

Authentic Nautical Decorating with fishing glass floats! A little bit of background, and sources where to buy.

fishing glass float
Although fishing glass floats for commercial fishing haven't been made since the 1960's, they can still be found along the beaches of North America, coming all the way from Japan.

Have you ever found a beauty like This? A fishing glass float, complete with rope netting, barnacles, even tiny little crabs attached to one side. Most of the floats existing today originated from Japan because of its large deep sea fishing. They were used to keep the fishing nets afloat. When a float broke free, it started a long journey along Pacific surface currents, from Japan up to the Aleutians and down the West Coast. Asian fishing glass floats have been washing ashore since 1920. They were made from recycled glass and are easy to identify compared with later varieties. They have flaws in the glass or thousands of bubbles in the oldest floats.

authentic fishing glass floats
Some people fly to remote beaches in Alaska to search for these treasures, in areas that present themselves to the Japanese Current.

shop fishing glass floats
Luckily many antique floats are just a click away! You can hunt for them on Ebay and on Etsy, or check out Our Boat House for a selection of floats with netting, up to 18" diameter.

Glass Floats
Colorful reproductions can be purchased in places like Sea Life Gifts, Beach Decor, Amazon, Wisteria and others.

decorating with glass floats
The floats look stunning as a grouping. Via House Beautiful.

fishing glass floats with netting hanging
And the ones with netting can be hung! Seen at Thom Filicia.
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28 comments:

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Happy Outdoor Wednesday Maya! Oh my... those floats are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your photos.~ Susan

ellen b said...

Beautiful. You just gave me an idea for my basket full of floats!

Jadehollow said...

I've seen those before but had no idea what they were.. or anything about their history. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Debbie

stefanie said...

so pretty, i want to find treasures like that

Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

Well, what do you know. A whole world of floats. I have been selling them for years and love it that they are still beloved. Thank you for visiting my blog and for the float heads up. Happy outdoor Wednesday.

Beach Vintage said...

I love these. My dad had 2 from years ago and recently gave them to me, they are hanging on my back deck.

Coconut Girl Connie said...

Over my lifetime, I have found quite an extensive collection here in Hawaii. We still find those that somehow break loose from where they have been lodged underwater for years. Now when I find the broken glass from these floats, I take that home and put it in my garden. I also have one that is half full of water. Thanks for the decorating ideas!

Kellie ~ Ada and Darcy said...

These are divine. I love their charm and history!!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I love that painting in this post. I used to know who the Artist is. From Nantucket, I think? Do you know his name?
Please let us know. I'll check back.
Thanks!
JolieAnne

Maya@Completely Coastal said...

Hi Jolie Anne,
I do not know who the artist is, but I'd like to find out myself. You'll find the answer here on Sunday!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I love glass floats! In all my beachcombing, I've never found one, but I do have reproductions floating around my garden. Thanks for teaching me more about their history!

FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

Hi, Maya, there's an award for you on my blog today. :) xoxo, ALEK

Melissa said...

My family used to have those glass floats when I was little. Sure wish I had them now!!

Mary said...

What wonderful photographs! Thanks for sharing them and the information about them with us. Have a wonderful day.

Brenda said...

Oh, and I can also see them floating out in the garden pond! Beautiful! I will have to look for some of these.
Brenda

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Oh, I just love those!! So pretty! And thanks for wanting to share my Beachy Bottles idea, I'm honored!! :)
Blessings,
Stacey

mythoughtsmyvoice said...

Really? It'll.. be amazing to find one there that has traveled across the globe. They're beautiful to look at too. A treasure indeed. I hope somebody from japan would right a message and see if it can travel really halfway. Wouldn't that be cool - a message in a fishing globe LoL

Happy Outdoor Wednesday!

Li

Regina said...

Beautiful. Nice post.

Christy said...

Very pretty - now I want a collection of my own.

Pearl Maple said...

Great photos and inspiration for beachy themed homes. What a great find on the beach, there are often all kinds of treasures to be found along the tide line but those would be extra special.

RobinfromCA said...

I love glass floats but have never found real ones on the beach! These are just lovely - thanks for sharing!

Robin@Miscellaneous Thoughts

BPOTW said...

Those are great for decorating!

Thanks for posting at BPOTW!

sealaura said...

interesting lesson. I had no idea¡

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

I love this post! My grandmother would hang hers in the windows of her farmhouse in New Hampshire!!!

Things That Inspire said...

Thank you SO much for commenting on my blog and bringing me over here! I wish I had seen this post before doing mine, I definitely would have linked to you. I love the pictures of the glass floats used as accessories, as well as the ones that were actually washed up on the beach!

beth said...

We went on vacation to the Oregon Coast last week, and we found 4 blue fishing floats!! It was so exciting! I was going to purchase some floats on ebay someday, but finding floats on the beach is even better! :)

Kamichia said...

Wow! I just did a search for Glass Float Junkie to see where I come up & here I am! Thanks so much for including me in your blog. You can find me on Etsy at well under GlassFloatJunkie!

Thanks so much! :)

Kamichia @ Glass Float Junkie

Loveofthesea said...

This is a great post. These are beautiful. Thank you for introducing me to Glass Float Junkie. I am going to purchase a few from her Etsy site. It is amazing to think that people fly all the way to Alaska to search for these.