20081203-finds-0101.jpgGREAT BALLS OF FIRE
It’s pretty amazing that grains of sand, transformed by fire, can turn into the lovely transparent element of glass. And equally amazing is the art of the glass blower, knowing how to heat, swirl, spin and fill with breath a molten glob of glass to make it balloon into hollow globes. Breaux Bridge artist Ginger Kelly has been doing just that, and right now she’s got lots of glass balls perfect for gorgeous Christmas tree decorations. Some are spiraled like candy canes; others sport lozenges of art glass. Each $25 ball is unique and would make a special collectable holiday gift that can segue into a year round suncatcher in a south-facing window. Visit her at Ginger Kelly Glass Gallery, 103 S. Main St. in Breaux Bridge, 255-8880, or at www.gingerkelly.com. You can also find her ornaments at Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery in downtown Lafayette. — Mary Tutwiler



SOUL REBELS
“National Guard Operation: Ignite Racial Tensions,” “Nagin Reveals Conspiracy Details,” “Functioning City Inspires Saints Victory.” These are just a few of the headlines of stories in the new NOLAFugees book, Soul is Bulletproof: Reports from Reconstruction New Orleans. The third installment from NOLAFugees, a band of New Orleans writers who began publishing a bi-weekly online magazine in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the book is filled with commentary, first person essays and satirical news articles that challenge mainstream media reporting and mine the humor of New Orleans’ post-Katrina plight. The mayor, the D.A., Gambit Weekly, John Edwards, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, JazzFest ­— everyone gets equally roasted. Soul is Bulletproof is available at most major bookstores or can be ordered online at nolafugees.com. — Nathan Stubbs



FRESH CATCH
Sculptor Kelly Guidry is known for his giant dragonflies that morph into mermaids, or huge hooks and bobbers, big enough to catch a narwhale. But there are smaller sculptures to be had, designed to hang on your Christmas tree, albeit a sturdy one. Welders love their plasma cutters, dainty fire-breathing tools that allow them to cut silhouettes out of metal, like a shadow portrait artist does out of paper with scissors. And Guidry uses this technique to snip out his fantasy fish, which are then embellished with some knobs of texture and treated to a rust bath. Hung on a copper wire hook, they’re keepers for your favorite fisherman. And at $25 a piece, it’s hard to limit out. Check them out at Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery in downtown Lafayette, 266-7999. — Mary Tutwiler

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