what is sea glass?

 
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Cornish sea glass collected by my mother in the 70's from St Ives harbour

 

Sea glass , "seaglass" or sometimes "beach glass"  is glass which is found on beaches after having been tumbled smooth and frosted by the ocean waves over an undetermined length of time.

Some of the glass I have found is very old, from an era when glass was far more widely used, and attitudes to the environmental damage caused by dropping litter into the sea were quite different to what they are today.

There is an infinite variety of colours of sea glass, and of course every single piece of sea glass is totally one off, having been on its own unique journey through the tides and currents of the ocean.

Some sea glass has travelled great distances, washing up on shores far away from where it was originally dumped, whilst other pieces have stayed trapped for decades in harbours, dropped by sailors and smoothed and tumbled by the tides whilst yachts and fishing boats go by.

Around the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, we find lovely sea foam, aquas, pale greens, deep greens, and whites. These shades to me, represent the colours of the sea in the South West of England particularly Cornwall, and are the perfect choice to reflect the unique coast of my favourite places!

 
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You have to be quick - the tide can take back its gems with one wave!

Much rarer colours found on these far west shores include blues, certain greens and deep aquas, and lavender.

Grey, pink, teal, black, yellow and turquoise and red (found once in about every 5,000 pieces), and orange (the least common type of sea glass), are all extremely rare colours indeed.  Rare sea glass in these colours is certainly far rarer than diamonds!

 
 
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Blue sea glass is a rare find....

 

The older pieces that have been in the ocean tumbling about for perhaps decades, tend to be smoother, and rounded in shape, whilst the newer pieces wash up in all manner of squared or flat shapes. In jewellery all different shapes are used , and to great effect.  The special 'glow' of sea glass, the way in which each piece catches the light in a different way, and the variety of subtle shades - pale aquas, frosted whites, palest blues to deepest colbalt blues and of course the array of greens all add to the magic and mystery of sea glass.

Recently my passion for genuine Sea Glass has led me to look for this increasingly rare commodity further afield. I have managed to source some amazing examples of glass, some of which are at least 100 years old, that were discarded from an old glass processing in the North East of England, at Seaham in Durham.  I have started to design around these pieces of glass, and I really love the pieces I have made.