Josh Simpson, contemporary glass blower and artist, uncovered a few handmade marbles outside his kitchen door in 1976. It was likely that they had been left behind by children of another era. Time had not dulled their colorful brightness; they looked as new as the day they were lost. He began thinking about the longevity of glass. Glass, composed of silica, one of the Earth's primary component's, is stable chemically. For thousands of years, it will remain unchanged. It is environmentally inert and therefore, green. He thought of all the invaluable pieces of museum quality glass that had been discovered around the Earth. Many of the items had spent hundreds of years underground before being unearthed by archaeologists.
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He began making beautiful, intricate, silica Planets which he started hiding more than 30 years ago. At that time, none of his work had been acquired by museums. In an effort to stake his claim in posterity, he hid Planets near his house. Later, he would take extras to leave behind when he traveled. After learning to fly, he air dropped Planets from the pilot's window of the plane in obscure locations. He left Planets in everyday locations. Other people began asking for the privilege of concealing them. Since 2000, over 1,700 participants have tucked Planets in locations around the Earth. Some of the Planets will lie undiscovered for eons. Others, will be found right away. The recipients of the find may well ponder what the Planet is and why it was left.
Photo: Deborah S. Taylor
It is Josh's hope that, far into the future, archaeologists will consider the message and purpose of these little orbs. What are they? How did they get there? He likes to imagine archaeologists puzzling over Infinity Project Planets just as they had the odd glass goblets found in ancient Mideastern sites.
Photo: Britney Whiting - Budapest,Hungary
What was the story of the goblets? Was their purpose connected to beauty, health and spirit? Or were they more practical like miniature liqueur vessels? It was a great mystery until the late 1970s when a glassblower was found, by a Corning Museum scientist, working over an ancient furnace in Herat, Afghanistan making the same shaped tiny goblet. Ultimately, it was learned that they were designed as water and seed holders for caged birds. The archaeologists were way off track.
Photo: Kelly Fellows
Many of the Planets will be found by people other than archaeologists. They will be found by people who may or may not be able to afford one of Mr. Simpson's pieces. They will be found by the educated and the uneducated alike. They will be found by artists as well as non-artists. Josh is intrigued by the idea of touching a completely new group of beings with his art glass. In his own fashion, he has found a way to bridge cultural and social ravines. He has done the impossible. He has created his own time machine capable of reaching hundreds and thousands of years into the future. He stepped into the future after finding the past.
Photo: Astronaut Cady Coleman with Russian Cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and
Josh Simpson donates two Planets at least once a month: one to keep, one to hide on Earth. Inscribed only with the Infinity symbol, they are entrusted to people who apply.
Merely propose when, where and why you want to place a Planet. If selected, you will join a select group of individuals whose quest is to participate in this exciting and unique project. Your name, approximate location of your hidden Planet and (hopefully) your photo will be posted.
Zebulon Jakub Near the weather station at the summit of Mount Washington
I have my own idea of when, where and why I would like to conceal a Planet. How about you?
All photos courtesy of the gracious Josh Simpson. From the bottom, top and center of my green heart chakra, THANK YOU.