Higgins Handcrafted Glass Rondelays – Beautifully Go Round and Round Through the Years
The Rondelay’s (shown above & below) are fused squares and circles of richly-colored handcrafted glass. These glass shapes are designed to fit together with simple links attached to rings of oxidized brass which are fused into each piece. Suitable for a multitude of applications, an early Rondelay catalog suggests to use them as “room dividers, partitions, wall treatments, view breakers, decorative borders, and mobiles”.
Designed by Micheal Higgins in the early 1960s for the Dearborn Glass Company, the Rondelays were mass-produced in squares and circles and additionally at the time, limited-edition runs of triangles to form a rose and raised dodecahedrons to create a globe.
There were initial production problems with the weight of the glass pulling the links apart, but these issues were soon resolved. Although a stunningly beautiful design, combined with ingenious practical applications for the home, the Rondelays never proved to be a financial success for the Dearborn Glass Company. Later the Rondelays were produced by Haeger Pottery during Higgin’s brief tenure there, and finally the Rondelays became a staple of the Higgins Glass Studio in Riverside, Illinois.
Remarkably the Rondelays are still available today, and are still available in two shapes and in two sizes. Higgins Glass produces them in over 200 colorways or over 1000 colorways, if you count the different colored centers on each colorway. In 1964 an 9″ single piece would retailed for about $5 but today that same vintage piece or a new piece will run you around $80.
This iconic glass design still manages to look as fresh and interesting as it did over 50 years ago. It really is the perfect piece to hang in a bright modern home. I can’t believe I don’t see it more often.
If you are interested in knowing more about Higgins Glass, check out the book: “Higgins: Adventures in Glass” by Donald Brian Johnson & Leslie Pina.