Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Creating Sea Glass Jewelry - A Day in the West Coast Sea Glass Studio

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The West Coast Sea Glass studio is a haven of color and creativity. We started out traversing the shores of the Pacific ocean decades ago. We've found rare pieces in every color over the course of our lifetimes. At left: A remote beach on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Our collection is decades old and most people have never seen a collection with as much color, history and variety. So we work hard to explain that ours is not average. It's an older collection, pieced together, one gem at a time, over decades.


Once back at the studio, we always place our pieces in baskets by color category and according to which body of water it was found along. At right: Baskets by color. More about color HERE.

When it's time to design a jewelry creation, just the right piece of sea glass is chosen. Today a very rare, true turquoise piece at left is chosen. The silver is measured, fitted around the piece, cut, soldered and sanded all by hand in our silver studio. No two pieces of sea glass are exactly the same, so the metal smithing process takes time and care.  Some days, we can spend eight hours at the bench grinder, sanding metal into shapes that fit the sea glass pieces.

After all the designing and fitting, the jewelry is polished with special tools, then polished again by hand with jewelry papers or cloth to make either a brushed finish to the metal or a silky, smooth shine.

Each creation is stamped with our signature "sea Star" mark on the back. This ensures its authenticity and workmanship and guarantees you it's a high qualiiy, West Coast Sea Glass piece. 

Left: A sterling silver and sea glass ring, hand made at our metal working station.
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8 comments:

42 things said...
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42 things said...

I love seaglass your jewelery is amazing. I love the picture on your blog banner too!

Drawn to The Sea said...

Clicking on the photo of the 3 rings is a visual feast... your work is so very special.

Marie Cramp said...

Your pieces are wonderful! I love the soft look of the glass rings :) Thanks for following my blog, I followed you back :)

littlebirdlittletiger said...

Found you on craftgawker - how do I purchase a ring like this from you? just what I've been looking for...

West Coast Sea Glass said...

Hello LittleBird,
That ring is available on our website at: http://www.WestCoastSeaGlass.com under the "rings" links.

Thank you, Mary Beth
Designer, Owner: West Coast Sea Glass

Anonymous said...

I too love scouring our shores, here in Juno Beach, Florida, for the lovely treasured sea glass. My collections go in jars and are displayed around my home. I was at a farmer's market and purchased a lovely Christmas ball filled with sea glass. I was disappointed to find that the designer tumbled it herself. Are all of your pieces actual sea glass or do you do any tumbling to create the glass?

West Coast Sea Glass said...

Hello Anonymous,
Yes, all of our sea glass is real sea glass beachcombed by us over decades of collecting.

We only work with genuine, naturally tumbled sea glass. In fact we are co-founders of the North American Sea Glass Association, an international group that is committed to upholding the value, education and authenticity of genuine sea glass. Thanks much.