Today I picked up a small handful of sea glass from an artist named Emma at the Queen West Art Crawl. Emma makes jewellry and such from found objects. I love creative people who see beauty in lost, discarded or overlooked objects…what my mother would call junk.
Anyway, Emma had a box of bits and bobs that she was selling for 3/$1. Most of this was pieces of sea glass that she’d drilled for projects and then abandoned as “mistakes.” Of course, mistakes are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t exactly know what I’ll do with them yet, other than admire them.
What is sea glass? It’s broken glass that’s washed ashore after being polished by the sea into smooth, pretty, shiny gems. (Although technically, these pieces are lake glass, as the came from Lake Ontario…which, technically, is an inland sea, so never mind…). They look like this:
The variety of colours is amazing. You’ll find plenty of clear, “bottle green” and stubby-beer-bottle brown, but also red, cobalt, turquoise and others that aren’t from run-of-the-mill rum bottles.
And then sometimes sea glass isn’t glass, because it’s made of broken pottery:
I always wonder how this pottery and glass got into the water in the first place. And how old is it? Thoughts of tragic shipwrecks, hurricanes…or the more mundane, tossed away because it was old junk, and nobody cared about the environment. Personally, I favour shipwrecks. More romantic.
I have an antique glass jar filled with sea glass that I’ve picked up from beaches during various travels. But the best piece I own is one I picked up from Emma: lost then found, then tinkered with, then discarded, then found again. And by tinkered with, I mean drilled and engraved…
…with the cutest little alien! I have no idea why Emma thought he was a mistake.