This Leland piece hosts one of the darker stones, with streaks of navy and classic texture indicative of Leland with little air bubbles that were trapped in the slagging process. This piece is on the smaller range of my work and could be your new everyday favorite if you’re like me and love the blue tones. I created some texture to highlight the banding in the stone.
LELAND BLUE (ANTIQUE FOUNDRY GLASS) c. 1875-1900
This unique “gem” is a byproduct of the short-lived days of smelting iron ore in Northwest Lower Michigan. The ore from the Upper Peninsula’s Mesabi iron range arrived in Leelanau Co. by schooner. A charcoal made from beech and maple hardwoods plus a local limestone flux were used to refine the ore; the slag byproduct was considered waste and dumped into Lake Michigan. This material ranges in color from black to green, to blue and purple, with the various shades of water-like blues being the most prized and rare. Under 2% of the slag created was blue, depending on environmental factors. The lucky and determined beachcomber may still find pebbles along the shore.