Lampworker Jason Probstein makes his living using fire, but it was playing underwater that inspired him to create a new kind of piece. While scuba diving, he noticed patterns in the sand like a “perfect swirl” and slender plants that moved with the currents. Back in his Asheville, N.C., studio, he designed the “Space Vase,” combining the images he had seen on the ocean floor.
Probstein, who has a degree in scientific glassblowing and studied Venetian glass techniques, creates some of these vases to hang in a window; others have a flat back and a metal mount he designed to attach to a wall. At $15 wholesale, each one includes a hardy, low-maintenance air plant and instructions for its care.
Probstein notes that the “perfect swirl” he gives to the side of each vase “appears in nature as pi”—the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, or about 3.14. Swirls also inspire many of his designs for hanging ornaments, cups and wine glasses.