Molten glass fish bowls are one of the most interesting new aquarium concepts we’ve seen in a long while. It’s altogether more surprising when you consider that these creations have hardly anything to do with the aquarium world, so far.
The world of high end aquariums is mostly dominated by super straight, flat aquariums with ultra-clear and sharp edged glass. So you can imagine how our interest was piqued when we sighted amorphous, glass bowls which seemed to have been melted onto their wooden pedestals at a market in Bali.
These molten glass bowls are exactly what they sound like, and made exactly how you might expect. Red hot bowls of glass are placed directly on unique sections of wood while the glass is still hot, allowing the glass to cool and harden right in place. The resulting semi-fusion of glass and wood look like something right out of a Salvador Dali painting.
For those of you with any knowledge of glass working, you know that glass artworks need to be annealed at a high temperature and allowed to be cooled slowly to prevent cracking, bubbles and to make the glass as hard as possible. Due to the nature of the molten glass bowls, we presume it’s not possible to place the glass and wood in this kind of annealing environment.
The manufacturing process of these misshapen bowls therefore results in some minor imperfections of the glass, with some pieces showing plenty of trapped bubbles in the glass. The makers of the molten glass bowls make up for this to some degree by using extra thick glass for each of the bowls, and the unique glass and wood creations are plenty attractive regardless.
More conventional aquarium manufacturers have experimented outside the
box bowl with AquaEl’s Sphere and Luna aquariums, both with built in filtration, and Cobalt Aquatics’ hand-blown glass pico-aquariums. The unpredictable shape of these molten glass bowls would make it hard to turn them into pico reef tanks of their own, not speaking of the difficulty in shipping such an unconventional shaped aquarium. But hopefully these pictures inspire other glass blowers to try their hand at making unusual aquariums.