Friday, May 23, 2008

Jewels of the Sea

Sea glass........
beach glass........
mermaid's tears........
Whatever you call them these beautiful little jewels of the sea make beach combing a great deal of fun.

Sea glass begins as litter from shipwrecks, dumps, and pleasure boaters as well as refuse from other sources. Broken pieces of glass and pottery are tumble polished by waves, sand and rocks to a smoothly etched surface. These ocean frosted gems wash up on beaches all over the world.

Sea glass is common in green, brown and clear (think beer bottles).

Less common colors are light blue, yellow and pink.

Rare finds are bright red, black, cobalt blue and lavender.

Lavender or lilac glass is most often clear glass from the years 1880-1915. Manganese in the glass made during that time period slowly turns the glass to shades of purple when exposed to the sun and other elements.

The process of making a smoothly opaque piece of beach glass with rounded edges takes between 15 to 60 years.

The Jewels love the beach and while walking barefoot in the sand Bonnie always keeps her eyes open for pieces of glass to turn into beautiful jewelry.

Our sea glass was collected on the beaches of Rockport Massachusetts, Newport Rhode Island and Key West Florida. Some of our favorite pieces are from a trip to the Rose Island Lighthouse near Newport and from the Dry Tortuga's near Key West. These remote places provide wonderful hunting ground for beach treasures.

Bonnie picked up some great jewelry quality pieces of sea glass in aqua and green on a recent trip to Rockport and Gloucester Massachusetts. Stay tuned to see what she makes of these gems.
The photos show you some of her previous designs made from sea glass from the Rose Island Lighthouse.

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