When I retire from the workforce, I will take up a new hobby. I like the idea of collecting something, but I’ve never been particularly drawn to stamps or coins. After chatting with Debbie How from She Sells Sea Glass at Flourish Handmade Market, I’m thinking a collection of rubbish might be just right for me.

Sea Glass - Cheese Knives
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Cheese and pate knives made by She Sells Sea Glass

Sea Glass: Ocean Recycling

The rubbish I’m coveting comes from the ocean. Discarded shards of broken bottles, consistently tumbled and ground back by the sand and the surf, transform into the most amazing frosted gems. Sharp edges apparently become smooth and rounded after many years of friction, leaving what’s known as sea glass.


 

The journey to sea glass begins when a jar, plate, window or humble bottle makes its way into the world’s oceans. Treasure from a shipwreck is most likely just a romantic notion. The source is commonly junk thrown overboard from a fishing boat or washed into a storm water drain. But it’s nice to dream and imagine something more extravagant, especially given the beauty of the final product.

Sea Glass - Serving Ware
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Beautiful sea glass creates handles for serving ware

Beer bottles and those used to hold juice, wine, milk and soda along with windshields from old cars constitute the majority of eventual sea glass. The color depends on the original material, ranging from brown through blues and greens to clear.

Sea Glass - Jewellery
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She Sells Sea Glass ~ handmade silver jewellery

Debbie How turns “genuine” sea glass into sterling silver jewellery and serving ware. Her pieces are authentic, as opposed to gems created artificially with a rock tumbler or dipped in acid.

Sea Glass - Genuine
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The variety of colours and shapes of genuine sea glass

I can’t imagine making anything more substantial than a pretty display in a bowl with the collection I’m planning to start in my retirement. I’ll leave the intricate creations to Debbie. But I can imagine combing exotic beaches of the world in search of beautiful sea glass. Here’s hoping I find some!

Sea Glass - Mermaids
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Debbie How also makes these cute mermaids for Tasmanian market stalls

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