Books by Glenda Young

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Personal pebbles

Growing up in a British coastal village, summer sunny days at the beach were the norm.  The beach was sand and shingle with some large, smooth, white rocks at one end that my brother and I nicknamed Polar Bear Island. I can't remember why and we never saw any.  At the beach, after egg and sand sandwiches, warm lemonade and a splash in the freezing north sea, I became fascinated by, and collected, the small glass pebbles that littered the shore.

My favourite colours were the turquoise and the pinks but I just as easily loved the navy blues, the transparent ones and even the dull brown and greens. Pebbles collected on the beach would end up in an old, clean, marmalade jar that I kept by my bed so I could wake up and marvel at the colours, shapes and sizes of this wonderful glass. I know, I was a dreamer as a child. I think I still am. I also kept another marmalade jar with ladybirds in it, but that's another story, and yes, there were airholes in the lid and things for them to eat.

Anyway, my fascination with glass as a creative medium and art form springs from picking those pebbles off a north-east beach on the edge of a pit village. I adore glass art and when I'm up in Sunderland I always try to pop into the National Glass Centre to see what's going on and what's new in the shop. 

On my last visit there I went a bit woah! There were pebbles for sale, made into jewellry and art, only there were calling it seaglass. Seaglass? Never heard of it! They're pebbles, surely?  But seaglass it is. It's doing a roaring trade and it's not exactly cheap. I've just spent too much on a pair of pebble ear-rings and it's made me more than keen to start collecting again next time I'm on a beach. And this time I'll keep the pebbles in an empty, clean, marmalade jar by the side of my bed until I move back up north, back when I'm near the Glass Centre again, where I'l take my treasure to someone who knows about these things. Someone who'll help me make my very own jewellry from the jewels I find. Problem is, with so much glass recycling going on these days, will there be any seaglass pebbles left?

2 comments:

Tvor said...

Sea glass jewellry is the new big thing i think. My cousin started making it a couple of years ago and i've seen other craft shops carrying it now too. He wraps it in silver wire mainly in various designs, mostly rings, pendants and earrings and puts it on chains or earring hooks. Does well with it. His house is right on a beach so he can get the materials pretty easily.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this Glenda! I just love those lovely little bits of rainbow magic twinkling between the pebbles and shells that are like finding treasure on a beach. My favourite are the blue pieces, but my biggest, bestest find ever was a lovely piece of amethyst coloured glass. But I love them all equally. I use them on the top of plant pots in the garden - but only the very best and nicest plants in the very nicest pots - and it's a little bit of seaside magic in my suburban semi. For some reason they are called 'jibbles' in our house. Absolutely don't know why.

And then I read your blog and find that some people really don't appreciate their real value and are selling them as jewellery! Huh! Is nothing sacred?

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