Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mormon Glass Grapes

What is the origin of Mormon glass grapes? The myth I heard was that Brigham Young directed all Mormon women to craft clusters of glass grapes to adorn their houses. Another story has it that one Mormon woman started the craze on her own and it promptly spread among  the community. 

Whatever the origin, there is a lot of grape cluster kitsch out there, just waiting to be plucked and used. Presumably the best locale for scoring used glass grape clusters is Utah, but they turn up regularly at Oakland flea markets and thrift shops. 

What to do with glass grapes? Use a pair of wire cutters to snip the grapes apart, and use your imagination. Above, glass grapes have been glued to cabinet handles to become eye-catching knobs. Because I like the way light shines on the grapes, I've got them all over the house.

Glass grapes with Lao buddhas and seed bolls.

Rare orange glass grapes

Glass grapes on top of shower railing
(Bonus decor idea: wire interesting branches to shower railing and glue air plants to branches. The two pigeons were a score from a quirky guy at the Alameda flea market, presumably decoys for those desperate or depraved enough to shoot pigeons.)

Knobs on kitchen cabinets

Glass grapes on kitchen window sill

A final idea: a friend suggested threading the wire that extrudes from each grape into a cork and then shoving one grape with cork into each end of a long copper tube, and using the tubing as a curtain rod.

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