Sea glass starts out as rubbish dumped in the ocean. Bottles and any glass items tumble around in the waves, slowly breaking up until they eventually become smooth and frosted washing up on beaches around the world. Often referred to as “Mermaid’s tears” sea glass has been collected for generations but with the worldwide trend for recycling it is slowly becoming rarer. I have been fascinated with it since childhood holidays on pebbly beaches in the South East of England. I love the iridescent colours and decided to create unique pieces of jewellery guided by the colour and shape of the particular piece glass.
Some people say it takes a minimum of 10 years tumbling and rolling around in the waves for a piece of glass to become smooth with all the rough edges sanded away. However it is almost impossible to age the sort of pieces I use as they are usually small with no identifying features. Colours can be a clue – cobalt blue – old medicine/poison bottles? Brown/Amber – beer bottles? Emerald/Kelly green – wine bottles? Seafoam (a pale aqua green) – old Coke/Soda bottles? Rare colours such as red or orange may well have started life as decorative glass items or even more recently warning light covers on boats or cars. Many pieces may well have been in the sea for 100’s of years – if only they could talk.