Incredibly Tiny Galaxies Made From Glass, Opals, Silver and Gold
Satoshi Tomizu is the best known space glass artist we’ve written about. Tomizu sculpts striking little glass spheres that appear to contain solar systems and galaxies. These pieces are actually quite small and the images you see here are extreme close-ups to show off the surprisingly complex details in each pendant. Photos and videos of his work seem to go viral all the time (including the Insider video posted below). Satoshi has won lots of international awards for his glass work including the Atelier Nova Design Award and the Handmade in Japan Festival Award.
Tomizu uses opals to create the effect of planets. Small flecks of gold and silver create small bubbles which give the illusion of a starry sky. Colored glass is then looped to create the effect of a swirling galaxy or nebula. Creating each piece is a very complex multi-step process. The opals are particularly special, as they have to be fully encapsulated in glass. The opal encapsulation requires a lot of skill and isn’t something your average glass blower can do. This is about as close as it gets to the scene from Men in Black where a tiny galaxy is contained within a necklace. The pendants look large in these photos but are actually quite small (about the size of an eyeball).
How to buy:
There’s a huge demand for his artwork so his pieces are only available through a lottery system. Winning his lottery gives you the option to purchase a piece. Occasionally pieces come up on ebay, but expect to pay $1000+. Satoshi simply can’t keep up with the demand, so a lottery allows him to be fair about who gets access to his art. If you enter his lottery and win expect to pay between $150 and $500.
It can be difficult to figure out the buying process for Tomizu’s work. We’ve put together a guide to help: http://www.galaxyglasswork.com/buying-satoshi-tomizu-glass-art/ You sign up for the lottery system on Tomizu’s website. Add yourself to the lottery often, as there is a separate one for each batch of pendants. If you win the lottery you get to buy a piece. Also, remember Tomizu’s main page defaults to Japanese, but there is an option to switch to english in the upper right hand corner.
If you’re looking to explore this style of glass work further you can do a google search for gold fuming, silver fuming and borosilicate opal encapsulation.
If you’re interested in Satoshi Tomizu, you should also check out the work from similar artists, or check out Galaxy Glassworks own pieces here: shop.galaxyglasswork.com
These are photos of our pieces that were inspired by Satoshi Tomizu (click the image to buy):