Porcelain Beads, Fire Polish Beads, Shell Beads, Furnace Wound Beads, Cloisonne Beads
So what exactly is sea glass? Sea glass is pieces of glass or bottles that have been tossed in the sea by humans. Once afloat, they undergo a natural tumbling process-battered by sand, rocks and currents, resulting in a translucent glass "gem". Eventually they wash ashore.
I adore the mystery of the glass, the unanswered questions: How long has this glass been in the water? What was it before it became this smooth gem I am holding in my hand? How did it find its way to the ocean? Although there are markings on some pieces such as "Coca-Cola", "Heineken" etc, ninety percent of the glass is just slivers and pieces of an unsolved puzzle, with any markings long since smoothed over, or washed away.
It is very easy to become addicted, even a little obsessed, with collecting sea glass. I am now in my 40's living on the Aegean Sea in the Greek Islands. In a way I am re-living my childhood days on the "Jersey Shore" collecting sea glass. But now, instead of placing the sea glass in jars and bowls, I turn the recycled glass gems into works of art.
My creations include jewelry, lampshades and key chains to name a few, all designed using recycled glass after many hours of beachcombing.
The way I use the sea glass in my art work varies. I glue and wire wrap but my favorite way is to drill holes through it to create beads. Each piece of sea glass becomes a one of a kind bead never to be duplicated, thanks to the wonder of nature.
The drilling process takes time, patience and practice. I use a small DremelŽ power drill and drill stand with very hard drill bits. It is necessary to drill in water as well to keep the glass and bits cool and prevent breakage. I use a make shift cup with clay to hold the glass in place. The results are amazing and when I mix these beads with turquoise, silver and other gems, they become one of a kind wearable pieces of art.
The next time you are walking a shoreline and you see a sliver of color peeking through the sand, hold it up to the sun. Admire the amazing translucence and perfect smoothness in your hand. I have a feeling you will move on and look for the next piece.
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