Stuff for people who are still a bit untamed, young at heart and full of dreams.

Friday, 4 November 2011

My Passion For Glass...

...begins usually at one of our many beaches. I've been collecting beach glass since we moved to Arran. Actually, I collected glass and ceramic shards before that, but living just a few meters off the sea makes beach combing so much easier.

When we had a guesthouse, we had a big fireplace in the lounge. A very useless fireplace which didn't work. For a hundred years, every new owner (including us) would try to get it working without smoking, roasting or suffocating everyone in the building. Of course, we had to try it too, because, what's a Scottish house without a fireplace. We relined the chimney, we placed a granny on top, anything you can do apart from ripping the outer wall open and rebuilding the whole three floor high thing. Nothing worked. In the end I whitewashed the fireplace, stuffed newspaper up the hole to keep the wind out and with masses of sea glass, shells, sea ceramics, driftwood and two lovely sailing boats I created a beach themed display. Already back then, I made wire wrapped beach glass pendants which I sold for years at the local craft markets. People do like them. It's like taking a piece of Scotland, a piece of Arran home.

When we moved I ended up with buckets full of beach glass, and since we had a workshop, friends would even bring the most lovely pieces they found on the beaches. And of course, I never stopped looking for beach glass.

Only this summer, the weather was so abysmal that I didn't really get around to comb the beaches very often. Instead, I was given a Dremel shaft drill. And that was, wenn I discovered, that the world is now open to work with any piece of beach glass, stone or ceramic.

My first drilled bits were what I call Zen Beads. Little stacks of sea glass or pebbles:

Zen Beads

Another of my early drilling results were simple pendants, to which I attach shells, pearls, charms - anything that is related to water..

Sea glass Pendant

I discovered pretty quickly that my Dremel allowed me to connect any beach glass shards I wanted to. So the next one was this bracelet:

Beach glass bracelet with freshwater pearls

And finally, I gathered that there are no limits and I could actually tackle some of my bigger finds. I have always loved this almost Caribbean turquoise blue big piece of sea glass. It had its place on nearly all window sills of the house but it always was to big to wire wrap it as a pendant. A few times I even thought of breaking it into smaller pieces with a hammer and finding someone who could tumble them for me. But somehow that was completely against my understanding of beach glass jewellery. I really want to use the piece as I find it with only adding things to it and at the most, drill a hole. I love proper beach glass, that has a history and had its battles with sand, waves, wind and water. For me, tumbled new glass is pretty much a fake.

Once I put my Dremel to the big glass shield, I came up with this necklace which incorporates an aged key, an upcycled scrabble tile, pearls, mother of pearl buttons and some clay beads. To keep the natural, almost crude and shabby chic appearance, I hammered big metal links and jump rings from silver plated copper wire and brushed and oxydised it naturally. So far I have not yet put it on etsy. I can't yet separate from it. But I think by end of this week it will find its way into my etsy shop.

Aphrodite's Key Necklace

5 years ago: my very first still a bit clumsy pendants

But I'm sure, I will always come back to the beginnings and wrap some of my beach glass with wire:

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