Friday, July 20, 2012

Beach Treasure.

 I've just reaslised that my joy at wire wrapping seaglass jewellery may have surpassed my love of gemstones. 
(Irish seaglass bookmark)
Capturing a nugget of irregular shape tightly, but prettily, presents a unique challenge. The aim is to make it secure without covering up too much of the frosted glass. 

I prefer the piece to look light and effortless; not easy when you don't follow standard wrapping patterns. Each piece holds its own secret and provides a new puzzle to solve. Sometimes I study the contours and bumps of the nugget carefully and work out a vague design before I start. Just as often, I let the piece show me the way as I go. I am often surprised by the results.

(lime seaglass pendant - SOLD ITEM)

Part of the joy is knowing that this is recycled treasure that is decades old. The heavily frosted pieces can be over 100 years of age. 

 (Willow pattern sea pottery - sorry, also SOLD)

 Beach-worn pottery can also be fascinating. It's usually local and I've read that most sea pottery found in these parts pertains to the 19th and 18th centuries.  (I have an inkling that would exclude the terracotta tile and most certainly, the sea-softened red brick pieces!)

(plastic comb spotted on a pebble beach...did somebody take it literally?)

And then there's the beach combing. It's highly addictive and can leave you bent over in two with a sore neck for a day or two. But the rewards are worth it if you find something that is fully frosted with no sharp edges. Once in a blue moon you might find a rare or exceptionally beautiful piece.


Last weekend I met up with Mo of Huggle Knits and Heli of HeliMG for a day out searching for beach treasures. I was looking for rare and beautiful pieces I could wrap.

Mo was seeking out small and dainty pieces of seaglass and tile to use in mosaics and other projects. Heli was searching for anything lovely or unusual, perhaps for table decor or the garden. (CLICK HERE for an idea for a candle display.)

If I tell you exactly where we went, I'm afraid I might have to kill you. Serious beach combers tend to jealously guard their favourite strands and coves and keep them secret. However, location isn't necessarily the most important factor in this pass time. It's not so much where you search as  when you go.

The day after a stormy night is best as the choppy sea will probably have washed up a lot of bounty. For once, the Irish weather did me a favour. As you can see, I yielded a massive haul. Once I have it all properly cleaned up and dried I will show you the best bits. 


  1. I have soooo much glass and treasure from the local beaches. I have taken some photos ~ I must do a post. I have always loved beach combing x

    1. oooh lovely. Feel free to Etsy convo me with a link when you do! I'd love to see what you picked up!

  2. I usually bring home shells and driftwood, these glass pieces are lovely! Look forward to seeing what you do with them..

    1. Saw the beautiful beach on your blog (Tra Mor was it?) Wish I were there.

  3. I am so jealous of your wire wrapping, mine always seems to end up 'overwrapped'. Very interesting article too!

    1. Your work is beautiful! Each of us has our own style.