Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Sea Glass Generation

This has been a blog post that's been on the back-burner for several weeks and I found some inspiration to finish the post from a sea glass collector's group I belong to. The title to this thread is borrowed from one the members of this very knowledgeable group of collectors. So before I continue, I'd like to credit Krista's Kiln with the title for this blog.

This blog is one for those that know the thrill of finding one of the ocean's brilliant gems lying in the sun on the beach....

A couple of months ago, my hubby was searching the beach for sea glass when he came across a fairly large shell bed that was left behind by high tide. Shell beds like these are often contain many treasures for sea glass collectors and I've spent 30-45 minutes combing through the piles picking out some of the nicest pieces, and sometimes leaving other pieces behind for the next passerby.

While going through the pile my hubby found, he came across a few unfinished pieces (or under-cooked, as he and other collectors like to refer to them) a small handful of smaller to medium sized frosty pieces and a few slivers. Two of the three slivers were of one of the more sought-after colors, cobalt, and they were pretty well weathered. And it's these barely-there slivers that inspired this blog post...and it's one that leads to a sad realization for sea glass collectors.

As the discarded bottles tumble around in the surf, they break into shards and the combo of sea and surf work their magic. Chemicals are leeched out of the glass, smaller pieces break off, shards become smaller. After all glass is made from sand, so it's only natural that they return from where they once came.

As the years go by, the pieces tumbling around in the sea become smaller and smaller until they will on day be too small to see...and since we no longer make the amount of glass we once did, these ocean treasures are vanishing...vanishing in our lifetime.

This makes me wonder if my children will have the opportunity to share beachcombing with their children as we have with them? Or will my son's generation be among the final sea glass generations?

So going forward, I won't leave behind any finished pieces on the beach for the chance that someone else may find it. For if they don't the tide surely will reclaim it's treasure and subject it to more tumbling, perhaps years of tumbling, until it reduces the shard back to the granules of sand it once had been.

But don't think that I'm greedy because I did my best to pick up all the finished pieces of sea glass. I love giving pieces of sea glass away to people who obviously are looking for a piece of our maritime history... there is nothing like handing a piece of sea glass to a youngster and introducing them the hobby I have such passion for... at the same time, I'm expanding the future generation of sea glass collectors and hoping to keep the hobby alive.

After all, it is a hobby that will one day grind to an end, but hopefully not too soon...

'til next time...


  1. I just can't get over this beautiful red color in this sea glass....gorgeous. Sounds like a fascinating hobby hunting for all that glass.

  2. Yes, it's rough...walking the beaches looking for sea glass...lol. If only I could be wealthy, I would certainly set aside a few months a year to walk the beaches of the earth, cleaning the glass of the beach ; )

  3. Wow, I'm honored! I love your blog and beautiful photos.