When we introduced our Eagles Nest Retreat series, we mentioned we had a lovely chat with Jo and Jan from the World of Marbles. These ladies were behind the counter in a very unique shop, the only one of its kind in Australia. At the time of our visit they were busy remodelling their work, retail and gallery spaces and had grand plans for the business.

The World of Marbles - Sheffield
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In the beautiful township of Sheffield in north west Tasmania: the World of Marbles

The World of Marbles: Magic in Sheffield

Jo and Jan were pleased we asked permission to take photos before just snapping away. Apparently some World of Marbles customers get so excited about the pretty shop that they completely forget their manners! Although not excusable, the kind of photographic zealous we’re talking about is quite understandable; everywhere you look there’s something marvellous and quite amazing.

The World of Marbles - Jo and Jan
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Jo and Jan have grand plans for the World of Marbles store in Sheffield

When asked the question, we were assured that “marble” is the correct term for the glass artwork they produce, even though some pieces are very intricate. While the bigger orbs are purely decorative, the World of Marbles also stocks a great range of the regular, garden-variety game pieces.

The World of Marbles - Exquisite Art
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Are they marbles, or are they exquisite works of art on show in the window?

The World of Marbles - Colourful Collection
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There’s a large range of colourful, regular marbles to choose from

Upmarket Art and Fun for Kids

While the World of Marbles in Sheffield does focus on artwork, there are plenty of reasons for the kids to visit. We all had lots of fun browsing through the range of quirky toys and playing with the marble runs. The ladies were telling us they had ordered a spectacular marble run and that people would be drawn from all over the country to see it.

The World of Marbles - Toys
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Classic toys… perfectly suit the theme at the World of Marbles in Sheffield

The World of Marbles - Marble Runs
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Keep the kids entertained with the marble runs as you inspect the artwork

All over the country? I was a little sceptical about that claim! Would you travel any great distance to indulge in the toys at the World of Marbles? Well…  I’ve since seen a video of the new rolling ball sculpture, which is a truly magical piece of art (click image below to see the sculpture in action).  And now I can’t wait to return to Sheffield to see this astonishing feat of engineering myself.

The World of Marbles - Rolling Ball Sculpture Video
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The rolling ball sculpture commissioned by the World of Marbles in Sheffield (click image)

Marbles Go International

With her glass art work, Jan has been able to travel overseas. In fact she’d just returned from England when we met her, and she seemed very excited to be back in Sheffield at the World of Marbles for the impending renovations. During her recent trip, she’d represented Australia at an international tournament playing marbles. She claimed to have been seriously outclassed, but still… what a fabulous experience!

The World of Marbles - Jewellery
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The World of Marbles in Sheffield also stocks some amazing glass jewellery

The World of Marbles team conduct demonstrations and hold exhibitions in store. They won the working exhibit award at this year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine, giving demonstrations in both glass work and painting. The pieces sold in Sheffield are made locally (including items from the veterinary surgeon next door) and by other glass artists from around the world.

28 November ~ Great news everyone. You now have a chance to win your very own purple ribbon swirl marble from the World of Marbles…

For more information visit the World of Marbles website (they have
online shopping) or phone (03) 6491 2772. You can also follow
the World of Marbles on Facebook or visit the artists in
person at 34 Main Street, Sheffield in north west Tasmania.

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Map: The World of Marbles