Storts Market

by Lesley Storts

Uranium Glass Pincushions

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I’m fascinated by uranium glass, sometimes called vaseline glass due to its yellow color. Officially, it is uranium glass because it has powdered uranium mixed in when the glass is being produced. I just think it’s kind of magical.

Many people have asked me whether or not uranium glass is safe. According to, we come into contact with objects such as smoke detectors, bananas, spinach, baked potatoes, and orange-red Fiesta Ware, that contain more radiation than uranium glass.

When I antique shop, many glass displays are set up with a blacklight shining on the glass to showcase the luminescence. The only blacklight I have is a flashlight that I use to test the glass. Some of those displays are very impressive! However, my glass comes and goes so having a dedicated area with a blacklight is not a current plan.

Interesting facts about uranium glass:
–Heavy metal used for over 60 years
–Common in earth’s crust
–Present in sea water and can be recovered from the ocean
–Discovered in 1798 and named after Uranus which was discovered 8 years prior
–Radioactive decay is slow
–Main source of heat at the earth’s core
–Australia has largest source of uranium (not mined)
–Majority of mined uranium comes from Kazakhstan (and has for past 10 years)
Source: World Nuclear Association

If you are interested in learning more about uranium glass, just do a quick internet search. There is an abundant amount of information to read or you can join the Vaseline Glass Collectors. My hope is that these pincushions will bring you a little more dazzle and electricity into your life ;-).

Happy quilting and sewing! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

Author: Lesley Storts

I’ve always been a doodler and loved art from an early age. I picked up my first fabric, a pink and white checked gingham, at 9 years old and cross-stitched my name. In 1996, my mom started quilting and her inspiration motivated me to make my first quilt in 1998. I found a pattern in a book from the library, changed the colors to make a Christmas quilt and pieced it together. I even quilted and bound it! I enjoy working with all kinds of fabric mediums and threads. I enjoy sewing with my machine and doing handwork. I get inspiration from my life including people, scenery, patterns and objects around me. Follow me here and on Instagram @lesleystorts.

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