I have lived on the coast nearly all my life (well that was until I moved to Spain and then I moved inland! huff!). Beachcombing has always been something I liked doing ever since I was a small child. I just love the randomness of what you are going to find. Some days you find loads of exciting pieces and then other days you find absolutely nothing. Always after a big storm I get excited to get down to the beach and have a 'comb'!
I firstly was drawn to shells and driftwood and used to make small pieces like photo frames and mirrors decorated with these. It wasnt until a few years back I was drawn to the magical colours of the seaglass these just make the most amazing jewellery (especially when mixed with sterling silver). There are so many variations of jewellery now available with seaglass - some people are so clever with their creations.
Not long ago I also started to collect the pottery - as I am now making mosaics I thought these would work perfectly in my mosaic creations.
Now I drill my own seaglass, pottery and surf tumbled shells and sell them in my supplies for other enthusiatic artists. Daily I try and put items on Tophatter.com (follow my facebook page for a 'heads up' when the next items will be listed). You can also find my seaglass supplies in my Etsy store.
Part of our 3 year plan is to move back to the coast - I will probably be at the beach every day looking then! but until then I can only find these beauties when we have a family trip to the coast! I was lucky this weekend as Ramon and I went to the coast for our wedding anniversary.....I was probably there less than one hour before I had kicked off my shoes and walking along the beach and I found quite a few nice pieces.
SEAGLASS (from Wikipedia)
Sea glass or beach glass is physically and chemically weathered anthropogenic glass found on beaches along bodies of fresh and salt water. These weathering processes produce natural frosted glass. Many beachcombers collect sea glass as a hobby and for use in jewelry.
Sea glass can be found all over the world, but the beaches of the northeast United States, California, northwest England, Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, Australia, Italy and southern Spain are famous for their bounty of sea glass, bottles, bottle lips and stoppers, art glass, marbles, and pottery shards. The best times to look are during spring tides especially perigean and proxigean tides, and during the first low tide after a storm.
Glass from inland waterways such as Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes is known as beach glass. It is similar to sea glass, but in the absence of wave rigor and oceanic saline, content is typically less weathered. Beach glass from inland regions often has prominently embossed designs or letters on it, which can make tracing its origin less challenging. The outer surface of beach glass shards may also be texturally varied, with one side frosty and the other shiny. This is most likely because they are pieces broken off from larger glass objects which are themselves still embedded in mud, silt or clay, slowly being exposed by wave action and erosion.
The color of sea glass is determined by its original source. Most sea glass comes from bottles, but it can also come from jars, plates, windows, windshields, ceramics or sea pottery.
The most common colors of sea glass are kelly green, brown, blue and purple(clear). These colors come from bottles used by companies that sell beer, juices, and soft drinks. The clear or white glass comes from clear plates and glasses, windshields, windows, and assorted other sources.
Less common colors include jade, amber (from bottles for whiskey, medicine, spirits, and early bleach bottles), golden amber or amberina (mostly used for spirit bottles), lime green (from soda bottles during the 1960s), forest green, and ice- or soft blue (from soda bottles, medicine bottles, ink bottles, and fruit jars from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, windows, and windshields). These colors are found about once for every 25 to 100 pieces of sea glass found.
Uncommon colors of sea glass include a type of green, which comes primarily from early to mid-1900s Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper, and RC Cola bottles as well as beer bottles. Soft green colors could come from bottles that were used for ink, fruit, and baking soda. These colors are found once in every 50 to 100 pieces.
Purple sea glass is very uncommon, as is citron, opaque white (from milk glass), cobalt and cornflower blue (from early Milk of Magnesia bottles, poison bottles, artwork, and Bromo-Seltzer and Vicks VapoRub containers), and aqua (from Ball Mason jars and 19th century glass bottles). These colors are found once for every 200 to 1,000 pieces found.
Extremely rare colors include gray, pink (often from Great Depression era plates), teal (often from Mateus wine bottles), black (older, very dark olive green glass), yellow (often from 1930s Vaseline containers), turquoise (from tableware and art glass), red (often from old Schlitz bottles, car tail lights, dinnerware or from nautical lights, it is found once in about every 5,000 pieces), and orange (the least common type of sea glass, found once in about 10,000 pieces). These colors are found once for every 1,000 to 10,000 pieces collected. Some shards of black glass are quite old, originating from thick eighteenth-century gin, beer and wine bottles
Like collecting shells, fossils, or stones, combing shorelines for sea glass is a hobby many beach-goers and beachcombers enjoy. Hobbyists often fill decorative jars with their collections and take great pleasure in tracing a shard's provenance while artisans craft beautiful pieces of jewelry, stained glass and other decorative pieces from sea glass. Some collectors even use their collections in creating beautiful works of art by putting them in cement or other adhesive to create a mosaic.
In North America, the hobby has the North American Sea Glass Association, which organizes a yearly conference and issues a newsletter.