Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Specimens of Beauty - A Sea Glass Album

When does a piece of sea glass become a treasure or gem?  As with every lifelong hobby or art collection, the beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.  Some of the most common or "industrial" glass shards can be sculpted beautiful by sand, wind and a rugged shoreline. And some are unique because they are highly uncommon in shape, stunning in color and a rarity to find.  Here we've compiled some of our favorite Specimens of Beauty simply because we love to share.  All photos copyright: WestCoastSeaGlass.com
This rainbow stack consists of Pacific Ocean pieces that have been in our collection for decades.  We've hiked, kayaked, scaled steep cliffs and hiked some more to gather these rarities.  This stack represents finds that are of like symmetry, similar size and thickness and they represent a fine example of pristine weathering and conditioning. After years of studying the history and rarity of sea glass color we have learned that true orange (not beer bottle amber) is one of, if not the rarest color of sea glass.
Red is highly coveted.  Some even call it the "holy grail" of sea glass. But this little delicacy is likely our most valuable find.  Why?  It's a vintage bottle stopper top first of all; probably from a victorian style perfume vial. It's old, historically nostalgic and flawlessly surfaced without chips or cracks.  Here it is photographed on an untouched beach in Hawaii.
There are several kinds of multi colored or swirled glass.  We'll define three here.  Bonfire sea glass is glass that's been incinerated and the heat melts multiple vessels of varying colors together.  Another type of multi hued glass is flash glass.  This is not bonfire glass.  Flash glass is manufactured to have multiple colors usually of a base layer with a thin contrasting layer of another color flashed or fused to the surface.  The third kind of multi colored sea glass simply originates from refuse glass originally made by a manufacturer or blower. Above: The residual molten pieces were mixed together once various colored work projects were finished. They coalesced together in clumps, pieces or globs, then were "pitched" into the sea.  The surf tumbled the colorful shards smooth.
Blues seem to catch the eye of the beach lovers and the romantics. Mirroring the color of the sea, these cobalt colored jewels most likely originate from medicine or even historic poison bottles.  It's nice to know that something as caustic as a bottle of poison has been recycled into something pure and soothing.  The pieces above have each been tumbling naturally from as many as forty to one hundred years.  Blue sea glass is one of the most popular colors that artists make jewelry with.  See Sea Glass Jewelry Here.
Sea glass marbles are a true catch.  Just like a bottle stopper or vintage glass button, marbles once served a particular purpose at a particular place in time.  The sea didn't make them into marbles, they started out that way to begin with then somehow found themselves along the shore. The sea has rolled them around and pitted them for years.  We wrote an entire blog post about marbles and how they end up on the beach.  See Sea Glass Marbles Here

Thanks for sharing our love for sea glass, The collector/artists at:


Anonymous said...

i love the new banner at the top! beautiful pictures!

Gypsea Nurse said...

what I would give to find such rare beauties!!
Great blog!!

arizona glass said...

These are very cool pics!!