Sea Glass

2 December 2010 · 8 comments

in Art & Music Outdoors, Play Resources

Ever since childhood I have been an occasional collector of sea glass when going for beach walks. Some beaches are better than others. I rarely find a piece on the NE coast of Scotland. But further north, along the Moray Coast and on the south-west coast I have more luck.

This is a reasonable beach for finding sea glass
Sea glass is broken glass that has been tumbled about by the water, waves and sand. It becomes smooth and frosted in its appearance. Sharp edges are rare to find. The glass is often hidden amongst the flotsam and jetsam on the shoreline.

These are the treasures from my last beach walk
Most sea glass is clear or colourless. But there are a surprising number of pale shades of green, blue and turquoise. My favourite find is the bright cobalt blue glass. This colour is rare and often only small shards can be found.

I like to see how it all looks in a glass of water
Children adore finding sea glass too. It’s easy to worry about them finding sharp, broken glass. But I think showing children the difference between the two and encouraging them to look for sea glass, helps children tune into what is lying around. It’s certainly more fun than being told to look for litter to pick up. Children will also notice how much junk there is. The same message about littering is received with the added bonus of an interesting discussion about whether beautiful litter such as sea glass is acceptable.

But for sea glass to really shine, adding a few interesting rocks and stones seem to improve appearances
There are artists who specialist in sea glass art and sculptures such as Debara Hafemann. Sea glass jewellery is another specialism as can be seen through the work of Gina Cowen. For children the uses of sea glass are infinite, extending into all areas of play. I’d be interested to know what your children have done with sea glass.

I put the sea glass into the ice decorations for my tree outside
Big thanks goes to Carol Blaha who’s enthusiasm for sea glass and making jewellery from all sorts of common objects, including wine bottle corks, inspired me to write this post. This is a hobby of hers and not her business!

PS This post is linked to the Friday Nature Table at the Magic Onions blog.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

kim December 2, 2010 at 13:39

We are a family of 5 cruising on our sailboat, and we LOVE to look for sea glass too! So far we have only wire wrapped it~ I’m collecting it , hopefully I’ll find a really cool idea for it sometime!


Debi December 2, 2010 at 16:55

I know my boys would love making such a beautiful discovery, but we have yet to find a good place to go hunting. I’m adding this to my “future adventures” list, though. 🙂

Reply December 2, 2010 at 23:23

We live in the desert, so I haven’t done this since I was a kid. But I love sea glass and driftwood, they are so adventurous as you think of where they have been.


anna December 3, 2010 at 19:43

Sea glass is such a beautiful thing isn’t it – smooth and cloudy and perfect and amazing to think of the process of its creation!


Cheryl December 3, 2010 at 22:17

So much fun to find sea glass. I love the way you used it in your ice decoration.


Mizzler Co December 4, 2010 at 08:58

What a beautiful idea, my son loves picking up pebbles which we bring home to look at again and again. But for some reason sea glass hasn’t been on our list of pick ups. Sad as it is one of my favourite things too. I’m going to get some on our next trip and see if we can make something pretty out of it for our xmas tree!



Juliet Robertson December 4, 2010 at 10:22

Hi Kim – What an adventure you must be having. Let me know if you ever reach Scottish waters – east or west coast. Sea glass won’t take up too much space either.

Debi – I’ll swap you some sea glass for a sand dollar. We don’t get such beautiful shells like these over here.

Yes – sea glass and driftwood go hand-in-hand. The trouble for me is lugging the driftwood of the beach. I think I need a trip to NW Scotland.

Thanks everyone for your comments and contributions – I like the Xmas decoration idea. Aha!


Abbie December 8, 2010 at 00:29

We LOVE collecting sea glass. Plus I kind of think of it as beach clean up is technically it is liter! hehe
We are headed to the beach for a bit of our holiday season and I am hoping to do some of our first sea glass collecting with the girls.


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