Hand-blown glass balls to be hidden in Tacoma on Chinese New Year

By weeklyvolcano on February 10, 2007

Monkeyshines will unleash marauding gangs of craftspeople, artisans, and their multitudinous admirers on the genteel people of Tacoma. Run for your art! â€" Suzy Stump

Monkeyshines press release:

Tacoma, WA, February 18 - Early Sunday morning, an anonymous Tacoma art project that calls itself Monkeyshines will be placing about hand-blown glass balls throughout the streets and neighborhoods of Tacoma on the eve of the Chinese New Year.

Monkeyshines first became a news item three years ago, when they gave away more than 200 glass balls in honor of the Chinese Year of the Monkey. The next year, in honor of the Chinese Year of the Rooster, 300 glass medallions emblazoned with the profile of a rooster were hidden throughout Tacoma. 2006 saw glass balls stamped with the profile of a dog. This year’s glass balls, each stamped with the image of a boar, will be hidden throughout the city and are meant to be gifts for whoever finds them. The group plans some special, large scale secrets as well.

“Pigs are intellectually curious, honest and tolerant," said one of the anonymous glass artists. “They're known since days of old as being pure of heart and sincere, much like Tacoma's residents. We want these beautiful little surprises to encourage people to continue in their curiosity and authenticity.”

The glass balls were created with the use of a hand-cast bronze stamp that was made specifically for this project. The actual glass blowing will occur during a long and energetic all-day session, where more than 40 glass artists â€" from middle school students to renowned craftspeople â€" will come together at a glass studio in downtown Tacoma to create the pieces and celebrate their community.

Monkeyshines representatives want to be clear that the glass balls are meant to be found, taken home, and shared with friends. “This is an art project that is of, by, and for our community,” said one of the lead participants.

Monkeyshines is not an organization. It is a slightly-crazed art project that may or may not occur again. Keep looking in the low-growing branches of trees for more information.