Here's a piece I wrote last Summer for The Crafty Mummy Blog where I give a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes goings on in the life of a beachcomber & jewellery designer!
On a gloriously sunny Sunday, myself, my husband and our two little girls hit our favourite beachcombing spot in Dunmore East. The great light and very low tide created perfect treasure hunting conditions, although I’d enthusiastically search for seaglass in any weather to be honest! The cry of the kittywakes and the impressive sight of the Wind Surf cruise ship docked near the harbour added to the atmosphere. Beachcombing with my family is incredibly special to me because it’s something we all enjoy doing and as a bonus I get to create pretty things with the loot. As much as I hate to admit it, they usually find better treasure than I do – my husband has hawk eyes and the kids are closer to the ground😉 But as luck would have it, this was my day!
After zig-zagging up and down the pebble strewn sand (bent over double of course) I discovered ‘the finds of the day’. Me! First up was a gorgeous little chunk of cobalt blue seaglass, perched amongst the rocks at the base of the steps down to the cove. The light caught it in a certain way and my heart did a little dance. Cobalt blue is one of the rare colours of seaglass and is sometimes called the sapphire of the sea (by dorks like me). Once used for medicine bottles and poison bottles, blue glass is now a cause for huge excitement and bringer of great joy (for dorks like me). The next exciting discovery was a little fragment of feather edge ware, lying face down on the sand (it’s important to turn over all of the pieces, even if they look like plain white pottery – sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised!). Feather edge ware is white pottery with a (typically) blue wavy decorative edge. This dates back to the late 1700’s and the technique of decorating the rim in this fashion was used by the poorer folk as a means of making their humble white crockery more aesthetically pleasing. Again – big happy dance moment. Among the other finds were a few shards of Blue Willow pottery, some milk glass (opaque white glass) and many pieces of gorgeously glinting jewel like seaglass. I hope you can tell how happy this makes me because I’m wiggling in my seat as I type this. I could spend hours pondering what each piece was used for, who owned it, where did it come from and also, how far did it travel along the sea bed to wash up in this little cove in the South East of Ireland?
So what next? Back to the studio! When I create jewellery my main aim is to connect the wearer to a little slice of my beach life. I’m aware of how lucky I am living by the sea – the call of the gulls, the sound of the waves, the salty air – it’s heaveny! I believe that having a little piece from the beach to wear around your neck, wrist or finger is a wonderful way to add a little seaside inspiration to your outfit. And thankfully they’re proving to be popular with seaside dwellers and city gals alike (lucky for me, everyone loves the beach!). I keep my designs bohemian in style, rustic, romantic and edgy. When designing this piece, I really wanted to put the cobalt blue glass and the feather edge ware together and I decided on a necklace design that used both as hanging charms. The pieces compliment each other so beautifully and when I found them in such close proximity and on the same day, I couldn’t separate them. I’m a sentimental fool really but shhh, don’t tell anyone. I wire wrapped each piece and suspended them from a Sterling Silver chain. I really love the finished piece. As much as I wasnted to keep this piece for myself, I listed it for sale and it was snapped up quite quickly.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this little insight into my life and work (I’m not sure if I can tell the difference these days!). Perhaps you’ll be inspired to search for seaglass yourself – let me know if you do!