About Me

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North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

She sells sea shells on the sea shore ...

Spot the sea glass!

I never could say that tongue-twister! And I want to talk about sea glass!

So many people ask me what sea glass is. Is it real? Why don't they find it on the beach? I've even been asked where I find it so they can collect some and sell it on Ebay because people seem to do that!!! Some answers:
Sea glass, also known as beach glass, mermaid's tears, Neptune's jewels and there are no doubt even more names for it, is just what it says, glass that has been in the sea. It wasn't created by the sea but will have been washed or thrown into it many years ago. Much of the sea glass that I find will have been washing around for probably 50 years or more. Some of it longer. In the UK, certainly around the south west coastline, I can find all shades of green, white, brown and sometimes turquoise. Blue is a rare find, perhaps because we don't use blue glass for much these days, but it was widely used in Victorian times for medicine bottles, poisons etc.

Mother Nature makes her treasures hard to find, the more inaccessible the beach the better!

Much of my sea glass comes from Cornwall, North Somerset, Somerset and Dorset. If I am lucky I also find wonderful pieces of pottery and would love to know their history. I have my favourite beaches but am always on the look-out of somewhere else to explore. It is addictive. I often get told of beaches that would be good for glass hunting, and so far not one of them has been a good lead! I think I am meant to find these things out for myself and leave others to do the same. A beach that can have lots of glass one day can have none the next. Having driven miles for a day out at a favourite beach, I have often come home empty handed, although my head is full of memories, my camera full of gorgeous photos of lovely beaches and things that amuse me. Some of my photos have been printed into cards which I am selling in aid of a local animal sanctuary - available from my shops.

All my sea glass is real but there is a lot of 'faux' sea glass around. Even I have bought it by mistake, mainly through Ebay (although there are lots of genuine sellers there too, I hasten to add) when seeking out colours I cannot get in the UK. I don't use it in my work, but put it around my plants, as a constant reminder. Some sellers are up-front about making their own glass and that is fine. Some even use glass from a beach, rought and chipped, tumbled in sea water and sand, sold as sea glass. The process is roughly the same, except it is made in a few weeks rather than many years - and it is not quite what it seems.

As for why you can't find it on your beach. Perhaps I got there before you? More likely your lovely sandy beach, just right for a summers day is not the right place for glass. Much of the glass I find is at the bottom of a steep cliff, way off the beaten track. Perhaps it is there, but you just aren't noticing it. It's not usually piled up ready to be swept up, unfortunately. On a cold wet winters day, it would sometimes be nice if it were. Actually, the thrill of it is finding it for yourself, that little bit of treasure hidden by Mother Nature in the sand. Once you start to look for it, finding more becomes easier, you just need to concentrate. Look for the sea glass in the photo above. There are several pieces.

And my list of favourite beaches ....? Sorry, never ask a detective to reveal their source. If would would like some sea glass, I'm happy to let you have some, in exchange for a fee. It is available in my on-line stores. To dispel the myth of 'but you got it for free', no I didn't. I have to get to the beach, pay to park, spend my time finding it, clean it and then list it for sale. Until I learn to fly without the aid of wings, bi-locate and get more than 24 hours in the day, those sadly are the facts. I have sea glass that is suitable for jewellery, crafts, mosaics and just enjoying so if you are looking for something specific, let me know. My sea glass jewellery and other items are also available in my shop, and to view on my website. If you are looking for other things, there are some wonderful artists out there making stunning decorative items.

Some links...

North American Sea Glass Association - I wish we had similar in the UK -

A stunning book full of the most wonderful photographs - www.pureseaglass.com

sea glass and beach finds necklaces
~ the glass and pottery is as found on the beach ~
other than a wash, I don't change the shape nor the colour

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