Decorative glass spheres can add beauty, light and dimension to a room. Glass spheres can stand alone on display shelves or coffee tables, form a dining room centerpiece or simply hold down papers on your desk. Arrange spheres in groups or stagger with other art objects to add interest. Place decorative blown glass spheres on the windowsill or hang from a curtain rod to refract sunlight into a rainbow of colors around your room. Add varying colors and or/sizes of glass spheres to decorative bowls, vases, pedestals, pillar candle holders or any other container that needs visual height or substance. Solid structure glass spheres can float in water-filled display dishes, bird baths or garden ponds. The simple structure of these glass spheres allows them to be used in many imaginative ways to draw the eye and make an artistic statement.
Decorative glass spheres typically range from 1 inch to 7 inches in diameter but can be larger. Perfectly circular or oval objects can be used to fill vases, bowls and other containers. Some glass spheres are made with a small, flat area so the balls can sit easily on a shelf or other horizontal surface. Other types of glass spheres, often referred to as witch balls, have a glass or metal loop for hanging from a ceiling hook, display stand or curtain rod. An almost infinite array of color and designs of decorative spheres are available. Spheres can be solid ceramic or porcelain, colored clear glass, blown glass, crackled glass and stained-glass designs. Look for spheres with metal accents, raised designs, or bubbles and enamel swirls of color in the interior. Blown glass spheres may be rolled in bits of colored glass when hot to form unique patterns and slightly irregular shapes.
Consider where the spheres will be displayed and what look you hope to achieve before you make a purchase. Decorative glass spheres can be used to blend with existing décor, provide a neutral balance to more exotic pieces, to add bursts of color or interest, or to stand alone as unique objects to admire. Bring the bowl or container you hope to fill to the store, to find the appropriate size, and be sure of a precise color match. Look for designs and patterns that match your décor. Clear glass with bright colors works well with modern décor, while floral-patterned ceramic spheres complement a country or traditional setting. For shelf displays, look for spheres with a flat area so they can stand on their own. Special display stands can be purchased to hold and highlight both hanging and simple spheres. Check to make sure your sphere fits the display before buying.
Hanging glass spheres are often referred to as witch balls and are hung in windows and around the perimeter of a house to ward off evil spirits and bad fortune. Iron Elegance, maker of witch balls and decorative stands, explains that spirits nearing the home are enchanted by the color and light. Once they touch the sphere, they become trapped inside, protecting the home's occupants from harm. Kugelhouse, a decorative glass maker in the Carpathian region of Europe, claims that witch balls have been used for centuries, becoming popular in homes in 18th century England and then New England. These spheres were also purportedly used by witches for divination, for seeing future events and distant lands.
Decorative glass spheres are breakable items that can also be very heavy. Display spheres only on sturdy, stable shelves and surfaces. Avoid placing fragile spheres near walkways or any areas where they can be easily knocked over. Be cautious when displaying glass items on low shelves where children or pets may dislodge them. When cleaning spheres, hold closely over a cushioned area to prevent breakage if it slips from the dust cloth.