Beach Glass. Sea Glass. Mermaid’s Tears.
Hunters. Beach Combers. Glass-heads.
I happen to think it is quite important to have a vast array of interests. As much as I love throwing on an apron and pouring over recipe after recipe, tweaking and molding them into the perfect science experiment of a muffin; I also find a great deal of satisfaction from nature. Sometimes it is the nature right outside my window, and other times it’s the way the sun filters through the pine tree on my walk to get coffee.
And sometimes it’s the beach on vacation at the jersey shore. But one of my favorite places to travel to is the little sand spit across the state border in Rhode Island.
Here, nature gives me a little piece of itself as a keepsake of summer days even on the coldest, darkest days of winter.
I like to think of this little jewel-ridden piece of land as a secret. I like to think that it is only I who harvests its treasures, carted home to be stored and displayed.
For years, I have placed my sea glass in jars and vases, shoe boxes and baskets, with no intention other than recalling the thrill of the hunt, when a green gem shines among a rocky tide line, a quick swooping action is needed to pluck the shard from the sand before the relentless tide comes and sweeps it away for another hunter. A sea glass hunter that is.
It was about two years ago that I finally put my sea glass into something other than a display jar. I put it into a sponge and I drilled, and drilled, and prayed that I would not crack this coveted treasure of the sound.
I then twisted sterling wire round it’s smooth edges and although I had no idea what I was doing and don’t exactly identify with artistry, I was overwhelmingly satisfied with the result.
I could wear this memory of the sea whenever I wanted, displaying it for more than just those who happened to walk past my bookcase.
For those of you who may wish to turn your sea glass collection into something more than home decor, here are some of the recommended supplies:
Dremel Tool fitted with a .084 to 1mm ball tipped Diamond drill, found at Home Depot or Lowe’s.
A small pyrex dish
A large kitchen sponge, cut to fit inside the pyrex dish
Soak the sponge with enough water that when pressed, the sponge releases water but does not over flow the dish. This will keep the glass from overheating (and shattering) and also lubricates the drill bit.
Drill a hole about halfway through the glass, then flip it and drill on the opposite side, if you only drill from one side the hole is less likely to have clean edges.
Do not apply excess pressure to the dremel while drilling, let the weight of the tool dictate the pressure applied on the glass.
Press the sea glass into the sponge to release water to wash away any sludge from accumulating around the drilling site.
Should you be a bit hesitant, practice a few pieces of broke or less desirable see glass first to get the technique down.
Be patient while drilling! Applying too much pressure to the dremel may cause the glass to shatter.