Marble Pictures


Manufacturers Information Pages

Marble Articles
Marble Shows
Buy/Sell Marbles

Marble Photography
Marble Games


Collector Knuckles Down


Akron Beacon Journal

Kim Hone-McMahan

August 10, 2007



His handmade marbles are on target

Sitting on a shelf inside Carl Fisher's office is a jar of misfit marbles. The colorful menagerie of orbs were tossed there because they didn't meet Fisher's high standards.

In the same room of his Aurora home are stacks of display boxes filled with shiny marbles. Some are glass collectibles, others are handmade from modeling clay -- the kind available at local craft stores.

For the most part, marbles conjure up good feelings of yesteryear. If you're a member of Fisher's generation (he is 53), or older, you might remember ``playing for keeps'' in the schoolyard. Perhaps it's those warm memories, or just because marbles are -- well, pretty, that has caused a surge in marble collecting. Either way, the rarer ones, even if they sport a nick or two, can be valuable -- sometimes bringing more than $1,000 a piece.

For years, Fisher had been a collector. At first, he started out with the less-expensive marbles. But as his collection grew, he longed for the more exotic and pricey.

During a visit to a Medina antique show in February of last year, he spotted some remarkable handmade jewelry. The beads, made of clay, looked much like the big-ticket Guinea marbles that he wanted to collect. So, the next day, he paid a visit to Jo-Ann Fabrics, bought blocks of clay, and began experimenting.

``I kept at it, and gradually, they actually started looking like marbles,'' he joked, while demonstrating the art of marble-making.

Now, he's so good, it's difficult to tell the glass marbles from his exquisite masterpieces. He refuses to share some of his secrets -- like how he makes them shine. But as one of the few artists in the world who's making marbles out of clay, that's his prerogative.

Recently, he was one of the winners in a marble design contest, which drew artists from as far away as Japan.

Because his creations are made of clay, which means they are lighter and warmer to the touch, he's in good standing with the marble-collecting community. If he were making glass marbles to mimic the collectibles and trying to pass them off as the real deal, he's certain he would be ``ran out of town.''

That just might be.

A hundred years ago, marbles were mass-produced in Akron, making it the marble capital of the world. Today, the city is home to the American Toy Marble Museum at Lock 3 Park, downtown.

Since perfecting his technique, Fisher has made thousands of marbles.

And, when the IBM salesman is someplace chatting about his hobby, it just seems people can't resist that dopey question.

``Have you lost your marbles?''

Fisher responds straightaway.

``Yeah, but I can always make more.''


Home    E-Mail    Marble Pictures    Manufacturer Information    Marble Articles
Marble Shows    Marble Photography    Marble Games    Marble Links 
Buy/Sell Marbles