I’ve been working with sea glass again over the past few weeks creating a set of jewellery for a customer. He wants to treat his wife on her 40th birthday and commissioned me to make something unique that had to be in silver and preferably include the colour green.
I scoured my studio for everything green – from glass beads, glass buttons, vintage buttons and sea glass and presented him with a whole range of options. We settled on sea glass in the end and so began a long quest to find the right pieces of glass to use.
There used to be a glass works at Pettycur Bay, a beach down the road from my house in Kinghorn and you can find green sea glass by the bucket load down there. This is a photo of the glass works taken by John R Hume in 1969 that I found on the Scotland Places website. Because it was located directly by the beach it probably used seashore sand to create the glass. The glass works closed down in 1982.
The only problem with the green sea glass found at Pettycur Bay is that it’s not been in the sea long enough to be perfectly smooth and most of the stuff I find is rather rough around the edges.
I’ve never worked with local green sea glass for this reason, so this commission proposed quite a challenge – I either searched and searched to find perfectly smooth pieces, or embrace the imperfections and work with them.
I chose to work with the imperfections, but I cheated a little bit. I collected sand from the beach as well as the glass and also got some sea water. I put these into my rock tumbler with a bit of grit from my drive way and tumbled overnight for three consecutive nights. I did this overnight as it’s a noisy business, but putting the tumbler into the washing machine and closing the door minimised the sound level.
This definitely helped and I managed to find several pieces I was happy to work with to produce a pendant and a range of earrings for my customer to choose from. Here are some images of the pieces he settled on and purchased today:
I stopped making sea glass jewellery a few years ago as I only had the option of using silver that wasn’t recycled. So I put my ideas and creations on the back burner and thankfully now I can bring them back into the limelight. I now work with EcoSilver, that I purchase from Cookson Gold, which is a 100% recycled alternative to sterling silver.
It’s just the same as working with standard silver products – it has exactly the same working properties and you get the same quality results. The only difference is that it’s guaranteed to be made up of 100% recycled silver made up of scrap from the jewellery, medical, electronics and giftware industries.
So my range of sea glass jewellery will soon be back on the menu, you’ll be happy to hear and to start with, the other green sea glass earrings I made this week will be listed in my online shop very soon. There are two pairs of stud earrings and another set of drop earrings but with a stud back instead of a hoop.
Let me know what you think of my latest creations. I’m really pleased with the way they’ve turned out and I’m really happy to be working with sea glass again.