The earliest marbles were made of stone or clay. There have been many found in archeological sites from Rome and Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to other parts of the ancient world. Glass marbles were first made by the Venetians. But, it was not until 1846 when a German glassblower invented marble scissors that they were mass produced. In the United States, the first mass produced marbles were made in Akron, Ohio by S. C. Dyke. Today, marbles span in size from 1/3 inch to over 12 inches in width.
Marbles made by hand are much sought after as collector's items and are increasingly scarce. I love them because of their aesthetic beauty and variety. They are spherical works of glass art and as a subject for painting, they allow me to transform my canvas into a surface of light, color, and form.