Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seapoint Beach Sea Glass

On another low-tide trip to Seapoint Beach, I walked along the rocky shore on a pleasant morning.  I noticed among the rocks some pieces shining a bit more brightly than the surrounding smooth stones.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was sea glass, something I had heard and read about but hadn't ever seen.  When I got a look and feel of it, it was very beautiful and I wanted more, so I started digging.

Brown, Green, White, and a small variety of other colors of sea glass on display in Dublin, Ireland
The full one-day selection

Sea glass, upon some further reading, is formed when chunks of human-made glass are littered in the ocean and are ground smooth and frosty by the caustic properties of seawater and the mechanical action of waves pounding the glass against sand and stone.  This process takes time, and the age of glass can be determined by looking at how much the glass is 'frosted.'  The frosting occurs when the surface of the glass is pitted and scarred deeply by the sand and salt, causing light to be diffused.  The grinding of the salt and sand also smoothes and rounds sharp edges from glass, so it is all safe to collect and handle.

Brown sea glass is on display on a cardboard box in Dublin, Ireland
Closeup of the Brown of the Day

The most common colors of sea glass are the most common colors of glass that is littered into the ocean- brown, green, and clear.  Glass of this color was usually drink bottles in its past life.  Glass of other colors was used to make everything from medicine bottles and stoppers to marbles in days gone by.

A teal colored bottle-top piece of sea glass on display in Dublin, Ireland
One of My Favorites of the Day

Some pieces are clear enough to see exactly which part of the bottle or container it was.  Many of the bottle tops still have part of the lip or neck clearly visible.  Some pieces curve at a 90 degree angle if the piece was from the bottom and part of the side of a wine bottle.

A piece of dark blue sea glass on display in Dublin, Ireland
Love this Rare Color

I love the idea of sea glass- litter made into treasure by the natural processes of the ocean.  One must be careful when collecting sea glass on the beach, because some of it is actually...just...broken glass...  Given a few years, this may become treasure from trash, but it still makes me sad to see litter.  I feel like I'm picking up trash when collecting sea glass, even if I'm really not.  Oh well.  I am still thinking about what I will do with this sea glass.  I'd like to find something aesthetically pleasing and constructive.  I'll post it here if I do.

1 comment:

Please leave a comment, we'd love to hear what you think! Comments are word verified to prevent SPAM.