On a recent trip to the island nation of Bonaire, I was introduced to the activity of collecting sea glass. Sea glass, also known as beach glass, is any piece of broken glass that has been naturally tumbled by water currents or waves in any body of water. Over time the glass shards lose their sheen, the edges become smooth and the sea glass becomes translucent. Collecting sea glass is a popular hobby along seashores, lake shores and even river banks that have ample wave or current activity.
How to Collect Sea Glass
Collecting sea glass is a hobby that can be enjoyed by anyone. It does not require any investment in special materials or equipment. All you have to do is visit the shoreline of a body of water that has a high degree of movement. Lakes, rivers, and even small streams can produce sea glass just as beautiful as the world’s oceans.
While I was in Bonaire, sea glass could be found on almost all the shorelines. Simply walk along the shore looking for colorful specks that stand out among the sand, coral or rocks. If the buildup is deep, you can use a stick or your foot to move the material around looking for pieces that might be resting out of sight.
The older the sea glass is, the smoother the edges will be. A well-aged piece of sea glass will not have any shiny spots, but will instead have a more opalescent, translucent hue.
Be sure to wear shoes that can get wet and bring something to carry your glass home in.
What to Do with Your Sea Glass Collection
Because sea glass can be found in all the colors of glass, it has many artistic uses. Here are just a few:
* Put the pieces in a clear glass jar and place on a windowsill to act as a sun catcher.
* Fashion pieces into jewelry items such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
* Incorporate larger pieces into a stepping stone for your garden.
* Use them for homemade Christmas ornaments.
* Keep them in small plastic bags inside a three-ring binder marked with the location and date you found them.
Since the amount of sea glass has dramatically decreased over the past several decades due to the use of plastic and the recycling of glass, collecting it has become even more special. Sea glass can also be an inexpensive alternative to purchasing expensive, mass-produced souvenirs while traveling or on vacation. It is a way to enjoy the beauty of nature with your family while making memories and collecting keepsakes you can enjoy for many years to come.