17 Jul Handle Your Treasure
You have hunted well. You have sorted and piled high your beach glass. Perhaps you have returned to the sea the common browns, along with the tinier whites and greens. But you still have so much! Each piece is special to you and reminds you of your moments by the ocean’s shore looking and finding, deciding what was ready for the taking and what was not. But simply amassed in piles or in generic jars, your treasure looks a little…ordinary. Now what?
Collectors have been grappling with this problem for as long as things have been collected. My father collected cameras: Polaroids, twin lens reflex, spy cameras, Brownie box cameras, and huge beautiful old cameras that folded in and out. Each one represented a thrilling hunt and a victorious capture. But lined up in rows on shelves, one after another, they looked kind of…creepy, actually!
We want a much better showcase than that for our beach glass treasure, my friend. Here are some ideas.
- Displayed in a large shell. Why not combine some of your less-rare beach glass with another ocean treasure, and put them out together, for people to touch and talk about? I found several of these clam shells at an antique store, and I love how the glass (and an old piece of tumbled tile) looks in this big white one. I have done this both in my home and at my author readings, and people love it. No one can resist touching these beautiful treasures, and then telling me their own stories. Difficulty: 1/10
- Made into a lamp. I found a pair of these “vessel lamps” at a TJ Max near my home. They cost under $40 each. Because I knew that the glass was not accessible, I could display some of my most precious pieces. Bonus: the cork stopper remains unglued, so it only takes a second to add more beach glass! Difficulty: 1/10
- Drilled and made into a driftwood hanging. My friend Char made me this one for my birthday (see Chapter 2: “West Street” in my book Beach Glass: Finding New Beauty in What Survives the Storm to read all about it, and her). I love this, and so does everyone else who sees it! It is the perfect combination of rustic and refined, strength and delicacy. Char chose each piece of beach glass and accent bead intentionally, drilled each chard by hand with a water drill, and strung it together beautifully from driftwood she also collected. It means so much to me, because I know how much effort and thought went into it. I could see someone else incorporating macramé, rocks with holes, more driftwood, etc. Art is completely personal, which makes me love it even more. Difficulty: 7/10
- My friend Nancy is an amazing jewelry artist. Her beach glass jewelry combines her love of art, jewelry, and beach glass into amazing art to be worn. This is high level craft: Nancy hand drills the glass chards, designs the piece, handmakes each link, and then affixes the pieces to vintage brass chain. She has done custom pieces, and maybe someday I will ask her to convert some of my treasure into jewelry. You can find her at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, and also at @NancyDelineJewelry on Instagram. Sharp eyes will notice me wearing her art on my Home page of this website. Difficulty: 10/10 to make, but 1/10 to make a purchase.
[image: flowers in vase, beach glass in water]
- In a vase. I once hosted a bridal shower with a “Beach Glass” theme. The couple getting married had found each other after each had been widowed. Talk about life’s tumbling! On tables covered with fresh white tablecloths, I used white flowers in clear vases with about two inches of blue, white and green beach glass in each. It was pretty stunning, even if I say so myself. This could also be done with a floating votive for an evening event. Difficulty: 2/10
[Pinterest image or 3 small ones]
- Various and sundry ideas from Pinterest. Collages, assemblage, suncatchers, mobiles, more jewelry, Christmas tree ornaments, whirligigs. The imagination is infinite! Poke around Pinterest and get lost for a few hours looking at all the great things people have done with beach glass (called sea glass by many).
- Last but not least, you can always find an interesting jar and put your glass in it. Nothing wrong with that!
Enjoy your beach glass treasure. Finding it will stir your imagination and using it in a creative way will make your heart sing every time you see it again.