Sea Glass: Art Made by Man and
Nature
Also known as Mermaids’ Tears, Beach Glass, Ocean
Glass, and Trash Glass
Julia Drago...
 Worn by waves, recycled by sea, tossed on shores, broken
 Product of both nature & man
 Bottles, jars, glass thrown aw...
 Wherever you find people & water you will find these sea glass gems!
 Walking along shoreline, look around pebbles, she...
 Traditional gems (diamonds, opals, emeralds) made by nature,
refined by man
 Sea glass originally made by man (bottles,...
 Authentic piece has no shiny spots, well frosted, has smooth
tactile edges
 Before mid 1960’s, everything came in glass...
 Famous places: northeast United States, Bermuda,
California, Scotland, northwest England, Hawaii,
Mexico, Puerto Rico, N...
 Most sea glass comes from bottles, as
well as jars, plates, windows, windshields,
ceramics, sea pottery
 Most common: k...
 Uncommon: lime green (soda bottles from ’60s),
forest green & ice/soft blue (from soda, medicine,
ink bottles, & fruit j...
 Old black glass bottles that had iron slag added
during production to increase strength &
opaqueness were sometimes brok...
 Places to find: slave trading ports, former colonial ports in slave-
molasses-rum triangle, former colonial locations w/...
 Black glass is green/brown when
held to light, appears black to
unaided eye
 Weathering & oxidation, together
w/ UV lig...
 Beachcombing: activity that consists of an individual
"combing" (searching) beach & intertidal zone,
looking for things ...
 Activity offers natural prescription to
maintain emotional, physical, spiritual
health
 Use knowledge of how storms,
ge...
 Art sea glass: originated as art glass, was decorative household
item that was broken, discarded into sea, extremely rar...
 Blown glass: shaping of glass by blowing air through
hollow rod into centre of molten glass gather, does
not have seems,...
 Bottle glass: originating from old bottles (and jars),
most prevalent
 Bubbles: smaller version of Bolder’s, almost per...
 Pattern sea glass: bear distinctive pattern, markings
include product names & decorative patterning
 Ridged Sea Glass: ...
 Curvature: indicates piece was item such as bottle/jar
 Embossing: used widely in commercial products
before use of pri...
 Frost: feature that indicates authenticity, happens
when glass has been in water for long periods of
time, water leaches...
 Kickups (push up): steep rise/pushed-up portion
of base, done primarily for strength enhancing,
stability, & content sed...
 Pores: under microscope resemble small "C" shapes,
result of rocks, sand & gravel scouring surface of
aging hydrated gla...
 Punty (pontil rod): metal rod used in glassmaking to
"gather" molten glass from glass kiln for
blowing/molding, pontil s...
 Shard: used to refer to piece of sea glass
 Stoppers: glass bottle/apothecary stoppers used
before commercial bottle cl...
 Reasons: more beachcombers looking for sea glass, littering has
increased, rarer to find
 Artisans/crafters tumble newe...
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beachcombing
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_glass
 http://www.bytheseajewelry.com/theg...
Sea Glass: Art Made by Man and Nature
Sea Glass: Art Made by Man and Nature
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Sea Glass: Art Made by Man and Nature

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- Worn by waves, recycled by sea, tossed on shores, broken
- Product of both nature & man
- Bottles, jars, glass thrown away/from shipwrecks are tumbled by bodies of water to form colorful gems of shore
- Vanishing due to use of plastics & recycling

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Sea Glass: Art Made by Man and Nature

  1. 1. Sea Glass: Art Made by Man and Nature Also known as Mermaids’ Tears, Beach Glass, Ocean Glass, and Trash Glass Julia Dragomirescu© 2014
  2. 2.  Worn by waves, recycled by sea, tossed on shores, broken  Product of both nature & man  Bottles, jars, glass thrown away/from shipwrecks are tumbled by bodies of water to form colorful gems of shore  Vanishing due to use of plastics & recycling  Glass from ocean = sea glass, glass from fresh water sources = beach glass What Is Sea Glass?
  3. 3.  Wherever you find people & water you will find these sea glass gems!  Walking along shoreline, look around pebbles, shells & other flotsam bits & pieces  Beach glass found on rivers, lake shorelines & bays  The more current/wave action, more likely to find smooth top quality sea glass  Higher water PH & rockier beach glass will age (become smoother) faster & better Where Do You Find Sea Glass?
  4. 4.  Traditional gems (diamonds, opals, emeralds) made by nature, refined by man  Sea glass originally made by man (bottles, jars, containers) refined by nature to become smooth frosty beach found gems  Nature is big rock tumbler recycling our pollution!  Can take 7-10 years in constant surf environment to make sea glass History and Journey
  5. 5.  Authentic piece has no shiny spots, well frosted, has smooth tactile edges  Before mid 1960’s, everything came in glass bottles or jars  Plastic was product of future, recycling did not exist  Coastal areas & islands, trash collection developed later on, residents buried trash in sand or tossed it in ocean
  6. 6.  Famous places: northeast United States, Bermuda, California, Scotland, northwest England, Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, Australia, Italy, southern Spain  Best times to find sea glass: during spring tides perigean (occurs three/four times a year when Moon’s perigee [closest point to Earth during 28-day elliptical orbit] coincides w/ spring tide [Earth, Sun, Moon nearly aligned every two weeks]) & proxigean as well as first low tide after storm Sea Glass Around the World
  7. 7.  Most sea glass comes from bottles, as well as jars, plates, windows, windshields, ceramics, sea pottery  Most common: kelly green, brown, white (clear); come from beer, juice & soft drink bottles, white comes from clear plates, glasses, windshield, windows  Uncommon: jade, amber (from whiskey, medicine, spirits, early bleach bottles), golden amber, amberina (spirit bottles, made from 1883-1900, made by mixing compound [w/ gold] into glass & reheating it, left to cool resulting in different colour) Multi-coloured Palette
  8. 8.  Uncommon: lime green (soda bottles from ’60s), forest green & ice/soft blue (from soda, medicine, ink bottles, & fruit jars from late 19th to early 20th centuries, windows, windshields)  Very uncommon: purple, citron, opaque white (milk glass), cobalt, cornflower blue (early Milk of Magnesia, poison bottles, artwork) & aqua (Ball Mason jars)  Extremely rare: gray, pink (Great Depression plates), teal (Mateus wine bottles), black (older, very dark olive green), yellow (1930s Vaseline containers), turquoise (tableware, art glass), red (Schlitz bottles, car tail lights, dinnerware, nautical lights), orange (least common, found once in 10,000 pieces)
  9. 9.  Old black glass bottles that had iron slag added during production to increase strength & opaqueness were sometimes broken in shipment, were jettisoned at beachside wharf upon landfall  Contained wine, gin, whiskey, medicines & liquids subject to light damage, refilled w/ local spirits, herbal tinctures, extracts, medicinals  Medicines & liquor sold in green bottles, olive green, brown & cobalt for gin, whiskey was green & brown bottles  The liquor bottles for sea shipment were square to better utilize space in shipping crates; poisons in blue bottles.  Modern correlations: brown beer bottles, Coca Cola green glass bottles Antique Black Sea Glass
  10. 10.  Places to find: slave trading ports, former colonial ports in slave- molasses-rum triangle, former colonial locations w/ sea trade routes & motherland shipping ports  First man made glass in Jamaica arrived w/ Christopher Columbus on 2nd voyage when he thought island was Spain in 1494  Landed at Dry Harbor, Discovery Bay on the north coast, glass on board may or may not have become sea glass is part of romance & wonder of beachcombing
  11. 11.  Black glass is green/brown when held to light, appears black to unaided eye  Weathering & oxidation, together w/ UV light interacting w/ metallic oxides & chemicals in glass & seawater affects colour of sea glass over long exposure & time frames  Resembles extrusive igneous rock basalt, weathered black obsidian, natural black volcanic glass • Gas bubbles are trapped in old glass, impurities and irregularities in original bottles were common & indicator of age
  12. 12.  Beachcombing: activity that consists of an individual "combing" (searching) beach & intertidal zone, looking for things of interest or value  Fill decorative jars w/ collections, can trace shard's origin, artisans make jewelry  Some collectors create works of art by putting them in cement to create mosaic Sea Glass As a Hobby
  13. 13.  Activity offers natural prescription to maintain emotional, physical, spiritual health  Use knowledge of how storms, geography, ocean currents, seasonal events determine arrival & exposure of rare finds  Eco-conservation: do not kill mollusks for shells, dig holes in sand, gouge cliff faces for fossils/reefs for coral  Stewards of seashore, working w/ government agencies to monitor shore erosion, dumping & pollution, reef & cliff damage Beachcombers
  14. 14.  Art sea glass: originated as art glass, was decorative household item that was broken, discarded into sea, extremely rare  Lundberg art: Lundberg Studios: premier art glass manufacturing company located in Davenport, California founded by James Lundberg, in 1970; created vases, scent bottles, paperweights, lighting; pieces found there: millefiori rods, iridescent glass, multi-colour glass  Seaham art: region In County Durham, byproduct of glass making & wastes, includes fisheye/pontil sea glass, colours combined by ACCIDENT waste tossed into sea (exceptions: flash glass used for window making & friggers - pieces made to practice glass makers skill) Types of Glass
  15. 15.  Blown glass: shaping of glass by blowing air through hollow rod into centre of molten glass gather, does not have seems, has pontil scar  Bolder’s: massive size, very round, largest weighs over 8 pounds, started as lumps of glass cleaned from kilns  Bonfire (campfire/trash fire): melted in fire, smoothed by sea, features: mixed colors, internal debris, bumpy texture
  16. 16.  Bottle glass: originating from old bottles (and jars), most prevalent  Bubbles: smaller version of Bolder’s, almost perfectly round, mainly found in Seaham England, started as lumps of scrap glass  Cane: colour rods wrapped around each other creating unique color patterns
  17. 17.  Pattern sea glass: bear distinctive pattern, markings include product names & decorative patterning  Ridged Sea Glass: tops of old bottles & jars that used threaded tops  Slag glass: leftover product of glassmaking industry  True end of day (spatter): object made w/ two or more colors swirled together as seen in glassware; refers to workers in factories combining small leftover batches of glass at end of day to avoid wasting costly materials
  18. 18.  Curvature: indicates piece was item such as bottle/jar  Embossing: used widely in commercial products before use of printed labels, product name molded w/ glass bottle, window pieces that had texture, gives clue to age & origin  Fish eyes (pontil): used to describe discarded punty tips from glass making industry Sea Glass Terminology
  19. 19.  Frost: feature that indicates authenticity, happens when glass has been in water for long periods of time, water leaches out soda & lime in glass, creating white "frost"  Gemballs: round pieces of sea glass  Hydration: part of aging process where hydrogen ions in water replace sodium ions/soda in glass resulting in sodium hydroxide
  20. 20.  Kickups (push up): steep rise/pushed-up portion of base, done primarily for strength enhancing, stability, & content sedimentation, modern: bottoms of champagne & wine bottles, thickness can determine age  Marbles: from children's toys, ballast for ships, spray paint can marbles, Codd Bottle closures, common: machine made cats eye marbles, rarest: handmade Onionskin/Swirl Core marbles  Milli/Millefiori: Italian for "thousand flowers," used to describe mosaic glass objects
  21. 21.  Pores: under microscope resemble small "C" shapes, result of rocks, sand & gravel scouring surface of aging hydrated glass  Pontil Pieces (fish eyes): tip glass part of pontil/punty rod, when product was finished being blown/molded, rod slightly pulled & snapped off, color inside of fisheyes show how outside of glass cooled yet inside continued to stretch  Pitting: result of years of tumbling in water, gravel & sand, always irregular sizes, heavier pitting (rocky beaches) indicates age & environment
  22. 22.  Punty (pontil rod): metal rod used in glassmaking to "gather" molten glass from glass kiln for blowing/molding, pontil scars visible on many handmade glass objects  Rarity: color, size, condition, shape, grade, frost, thickness, bubbles, embossing, source indicators  Rounds: pieces that were bottoms of bottles
  23. 23.  Shard: used to refer to piece of sea glass  Stoppers: glass bottle/apothecary stoppers used before commercial bottle closures, most common is seafoam green color used in Heinz 57 sauce  Whimsies (friggers): non-production pieces that glass makers used to practice their trade, include portions of glass canes, paperweights/dumps, rolling pins, pipes, figurines, sock darners, gavels, doorstops
  24. 24.  Reasons: more beachcombers looking for sea glass, littering has increased, rarer to find  Artisans/crafters tumble newer pieces to create "twice-tossed" glass, others create artificial sea glass, "craft glass", from ordinary glass pieces using rock tumbler  Cons: chunkier, lacks provenance, technical ways (long-term exposure to water conditions creates etched surface on glass that cannot be duplicated artificially)  Pros: cheaper, wider range of colours  Real: has frosty, almost powdery texture; "C" shaped design on outside, not rounded; artificial lacks all these properties Imitations or Artificial Sea Glass
  25. 25.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beachcombing  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_glass  http://www.bytheseajewelry.com/theglass/what.php  http://www.bytheseajewelry.com/theglass/seaglasste rms.php Bibliography

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