It’s Asian New Year this weekend, and for Tacoma that means Monkeyshines! The annual artist-driven tradition of hiding gorgeous hand-blown glass floats in yards and streets all over Tacoma happened again early this morning.
The Monkeyshines crew (various glassblowers, artists and friends) set out to hide the floats at 4 a.m., which was far too early for me to tag along. But I did go last year, and so I know more or less what happens: The Monkeyshiners meet at a top-secret location associated with Ms. Monkey, a certain glass artist around town, where they divide into teams and load up a trunk full of the floats. Each float is hand-made by folks at M-space hot shop, and branded with a design for that New Year animal – in this case, the tiger.
Then the teams head out to various areas of the city. Last year I was with the North End/Proctor team, and we had a lot of fun stashing glass balls under bushes, inside newspaper boxes, behind stores and in the forks of trees. The tradition was started several years ago in the spirit of those lucky folk who sometimes find Japanese glass floats washed up on Washington beaches. The discovery of a float in your own yard is just as delightful, as one of my readers emailed to me the other day (he was the one who found a Monkeyshine in the fork of his tree.)
So get out there in your yard and look around! And if you find one, snap a pic and send it to me.