You might have already come across some colourful pebble-like glass pieces while walking on a sandy or pebbly beach and wondered how these smoothed glass pieces found their way to the beach at all? They actually have a more fascinating story than you thought!
„Natural”, or genuine sea glass began their life as glass bottles or tableware, which then at some point accidentally found their way into the sea many years or even decades ago. In some rare cases these glasses originate from shipwrecks, but most of the times they come from factories or households. These glass bottles then were broken, rolled, and tumbled by the waves for years, until the elements smooth and round their edges, and frost their surface. Finally, they end up on sandy or pebbly coastlines and beaches and collected by enthusiast sea glass collectors and artisans.
Sea pottery forms similarly to sea glass, from old broken pieces of earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, or tiles.
Nicer sea glass pieces that have perfectly round edges and are fully frosted usually take 10-40 years, and sometimes as much as 100-200 years, to get their unique texture and shape.
Genuine sea glass pieces are rarely perfect in their size or surface. The waves break them to different shapes, creating odd forms and surfaces in every imaginable shapes. Some pieces have unique characteristic features, such as patterns, inscription, or other marks on their surface, that were man-made on the original bottles or tableware, and parts of these patterns remained on the piece even after years spent in the sea. Some sea glass pieces have quite unusual shapes – they used to be the mouth or bottom of a bottle, or a specially formed part of a decoration glass piece.
The beauty of sea glass come from its long story and the special way they are created: that although originally they were man-made pieces, the sea used its power to recycle them, and eventually their final shapes are formed by the elements of nature.