Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Search of Sea Glass

As some of you know, this week I'm visiting a good friend who lives 750 miles away on the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. One of the many perks of this trip, besides visiting with my friend (shown below, patiently braving the chill with a land-lubbing visitor) and her family, eating wonderful, fresh New England seafood and just seeing another part of the U.S. is a relatively new obsession - hunting for sea glass.

Sea glass (or beach glass) is unfortunately, mainly the result of litter - glass bottles, etc., which have made their way into the sea, getting broken into progressively smaller pieces, sanded and "frosted" by rocks and stone. With each new tide, a possible bounty of new treasures is washed onto rocky beaches, just waiting to be discovered. Brown and medium green colors are the most common - think about all of those beer bottles going over the side of partying boaters :-( Blue and red, especially, are conversely, quite rare.

Milk of Magnesia bottles contribute to the blue shards (but those getting into the water system is more perplexing...surely not a party beverage of choice...) Red glass is also rare because there just isn't much red glass around, that color being one of the harder glass colors to produce. Red sea glass could be parts of some antique "junk", or old ship wrecks or maybe pirate booty dredged up from the depths :-)

Along with choice pieces of nicely frosted glass (including some blue!) I discovered a lovely shell in shades of purple and three nested shells from which I intend to make a mold. I'll be incorporating some of this booty into polymer objects over the next few months.

Also, we came upon a horseshoe crab, legs waving in the air, stranded from the last high tide. I turned him over and put him on the edge of the rising waters...hope that he made it....