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Sea Glass, What is it? How Can I Use It?


Sea glass, what is it?

Simply put, sea glass is exactly what it sounds like.  It is glass from the sea, surf tumbled and tossed up by the waves onto beaches around the world.  Sea glass may start out as any glass object, a shiny bottle (medicine, wine), a jar, kitchenware, a bottle stopper or a marble perhaps. These items made their way into the water once they were discarded in old dump sites or thrown from passing ships.

Over time, the glassware gets bounced around by the surf and sand while breaking down into smaller pieces.  The pieces start to lose their shiny surface and the outside begins to take on a frosted look while the edges become more rounded.  The glass pieces retain their color, which is even more amazing when you hold them up to the light.  Eventually, someone will collect up these little gems and share them with the world.


Sea glass, how can I use it?

Maybe the better question would be, how can I stop myself from using it?  Well, you can't, because you won't want to!  I am here to tell you that the list is endless as to what you can create with this unique supply.

Jewelry making is one of the most popular ways to enjoy sea glass these days but there are many other beach themed crafts to use sea glass in as well. Once holes are drilled into these tiny sea glass gems they are transformed into beads, charms and pendants and can be used for earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets and keychains.  Sea glass can also be used in sun catchers, mobiles, wind chimes or bookmarks just to name a few. Another great use is as buttons for sewing, knitting or crochet projects or as drop beads for fringe or decoration.

If you acquire some special sea glass pieces or have the beginnings of a collection, you may not want to put a hole into them.  In this case, wire wrapping these pieces makes sense.  You can still use them in jewelry or crafts without harming the piece in any way.


Sea glass or beach glass, is there a difference?

Yes and no.  Genuine sea glass usually comes from the sea or the ocean and was surf tumbled by salt water. Beach glass is usually from fresh water sources such as lakes and rivers, however sea glass is often called beach glass as it is also gathered on the beach.  Both types of glass have a similar look to them, frosted and rounded. The older the sea glass is, the more patina it will show in the way of marks on the surface, especially when you hold it up to the light.


What is so special about sea glass?

For me, the fact that every single piece of real sea glass is completely unique is what makes it special and gives me inspiration for my designs.  Each and every piece is different in color, size, shape and texture. There are pieces where the shape is almost perfect as in teardrop beads and then there are wild and crazy shapes as well. Those are the ones that I personally like to use.  The point is that no two pieces are alike.  Any design that can be created, cannot be exactly duplicated, which makes each item you create extra special!


What colors are available?

The colors that I have had the pleasure of creating with are green and teal, amber and brown, cobalt, cornflower and aqua blue, lavender purple, pink and peach, gray, yellow, red and orange and all the shades in between.  There are also multis, mainly from England that have two or more colors in one piece. These are extra special. 

All in all, I have never met a piece of sea glass that I didn't like.  Give it a try (if you haven't already).  You just might like it.

Happy Creating!

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