Blue Note Amulet Basket

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Object Name: 
Sculptural Vessel
Blue Note Amulet Basket
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 41.2 cm, W: 36.8 cm, D: 27.4 cm
Not on Display
Credit Line: 
Gift of Charles Bronfman
Web Description: 
Glass vessels adorned with handmade beads and natural materials are the vehicle of choice for Laura Donefer’s apotropaic beaded objects. She invests her magical works with a protective energy. Her pieces function to safeguard their owners, much like traditional protective devices, such as eye beads. But they are also meantw to safeguard the world. Among the earliest objects made in glass are eye beads, which date from as early as the second millennium B.C. Ancient and modern eye beads are meant to deflect the evil eye, which is caused by envy and jealousy, and which may be intentionally or unintentionally given. An eye bead also offers the wearer general protection against negative energy and ill will. Such beads are almost always blue, which is considered to be the most efficacious color for dispelling harmful thoughts. “For me, glass is a metaphor for life,” Donefer says. “It is the perfect material for my expression, and it is an extraordinary, sensuous act when I am working it hot. There is that crazy kamikaze aspect of it—it feels like all or nothing. And that is how I like to operate, even though sometimes it is a dangerous way to live, celebrating life through fire.”
R. Duane Reed Gallery, Former Collection
Bronfman, Charles, Source
L Donefer
Engraved Along the bottom edge of the vessel in script
Primary Description: 
Sculptural Vessel, "Blue Note Amulet Basket." Opaque blue glasses; blown, beads, turquoise and found objects. Large basket with double beaded handle and bunches of glass beads and turquoise at the end of each handle. The interior of the basket holds a little teacup and some dried branches.
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, pp. 78-79, no. 48; BIB# 134720
Treasures from the Corning Museum of Glass 2013 (2012-12) illustrated, p. 2; BIB# 133170