The word “marble” is used by many people to mean a wide range of objects which are quite different from one another. Some of these objects are made of marble, and some aren’t; some look like marbles, and some don’t.
In the craft world, a marble is a small sphere of clay. In the art world, a marble is a spherical object made from any material at all (although it has to be large enough that you can’t enclose it in your hand). In the toy world, marbles are usually glass spheres with swirls painted on them.
Not surprisingly, these different things have different histories and traditions attached to them. I’m writing this blog because I’ve noticed that while the craft tradition has been handed down accurately from generation to generation, many artists who work with marbles don’t understand their craft history at all — and instead make up their own set of rules for how to work with marbles based on what other people have told them about them.
And then there are people who use marbles in entirely new ways — for example, as tools for exploring non-Euclidean geometry or as part of kinetic sculpture — who may not
I just found this wonderful blog that I wanted to share with you. It is called Marble Chronicles and it’s by Mary Ann Mayer, a trained sculptor and a real expert on marbles.
Tons of links here to everything you need to know about marbles, including many historical articles. For example, this link that tells you everything about the history of green marbles.
There are thousands of marble sources in the world. Each marble has its own unique pattern, size, color and texture. Some marbles have just one or two colors and others have up to six or more different colors. The most popular marbles are made from a mixture of quartz and calcite. They consist mainly of white marble with black or brown swirls or veins through it. They are called “black” and “brown” marbles, respectively. They also contain other minerals such as iron oxide, which gives them their vivid reds, pinks, oranges, purples and blues. Other minerals sometimes found in black and brown marbles are gold, silver, manganese, chrome and nickel.
Marbles were originally intended for children to play with but today they are more commonly used in a variety of industries including glass making, flooring and craft projects. If you want to use your own marbles then the first thing you will need to do is know where to look for them. The most common places you can find them is at an antique store or on the beach. If you plan to use them at home then make sure that they are clean before you start using them. By doing this you will be able to enjoy playing with
Marbles have been used for more than just play. People have carved elaborate sculptures that can be viewed from all sides. Some of these sculptures have been made for the top of columns or even placed on the side of a building. These sculptures can be seen by everyone but are not easy to steal.
Marble is a natural rock that has been used in everything from sculptures to chess pieces, and can be found in many colors and styles. But how, exactly, did marbles come to be?
Marbles are thought to have originated in the Mediterranean area, where they were being manufactured as far back as the 1st century B.C. Much like ancient billiards, marbles were likely invented for the purpose of entertaining royalty – or at least their servants and slaves. The earliest marbles were made from clay or stone and polished with sand until perfectly round. This was a difficult process, given that craftspeople had to work by hand; it’s no wonder that early marbles were extremely expensive! In fact, it was not uncommon for royalty to use “scraps” from marble-making as currency.
Marbles made from rock crystal made a splash when they first came about in the 15th century for their beauty and rarity. At this point, most marbles were still handmade, but natural marble deposits were discovered soon after. These deposits led to mass production of glass “crystal” spheres suitable for games. Crystal marbles began to dominate the market in the 17th century. They could now be made cheaply using molds, with color
Renaissance artists picked up the habit of using marbles from the Romans. In fact, in the sixteenth century, the word “marble” was used to refer to what we now call statuary marble and architectural (masonry) marble.
Masons made architectural marbles by carving marble blocks into forms that could be assembled into buildings. Statuary marbles were carved on a smaller scale, then assembled into groups and placed on pedestals. The pedestals were either carved out of a separate piece of stone, or they were built up out of smaller pieces of stone called socles.
Round or rectangular marbles are sometimes called “tombstones.” They look like the tops of tombs, but they’re actually socles that have been cut through to the form of tombstones. The tops could have been carved with anything that would strike the viewers’ fancy: figures, scenes, animals, angels, saints, and so on.
Tombstones were usually carved from colored marble called breccia. The best source for breccia marble is near Rome (hence its name). Some tombstones are also carved from black or white breccia from Tivoli and Verona; these are often called “Veronese” and ”
Marbles have been around for a very long time. They are one of the most ancient toys and games known to man. The first marbles were smooth stones that were used as ammunition in hand-thrown bows and slings.