I don’t remember when or how I discovered about sea glass but now, it is my latest obsession. I had no idea about sea glass when I was in India. A few years ago, when I was searching for something else on the internet, I discovered sea glass … I think. Ever since I discovered sea glass I have fallen in love with it and have spent several hours trawling on the internet and even borrowing books from the library to read about it.
While drooling over photos of sea-glass on the internet, I was lead into the world of other fascinating things such as sea pottery, sea brick and beach stones. I enjoyed seeing the photos of sea brick and sea pottery, though there is less about them on the internet, compared to sea-glass. I also started reading about sea-glass related things such as the sea glass museum at Fort Bragg in California and the sea glass events held in places like USA & Canada, and UK. I saw the lovely art work and jewellery people have made out of sea glass in the western world. I also recall seeing, in a Baltimore jewelry shop by the harbour, lovely glass earrings …the glass was supposed to be from Rome and produced in B.C! I hope it’s true! I love the idea of earrings made of glass from over 2000 years ago!
During my childhood, I had loved sea shells like any other child and still love them but I am no longer obsessed with them now. I now feel sorry for the sea animals in shells which are picked and killed for their shells and I don’t want any part of that. I pray and hope that someday, People will accept that even molluscs feel pain and stop torturing/killing them. (“Yo turtle-eater. Put yourself in the place of the turtle and try to imagine how it feels to have your skin/shell ripped out of you, even as you are living and breathing”.)
About a month ago, we went to Scarborough Bluffs as part of ‘show-Toronto-to-visitors-from USA’. And while walking along Lake Ontario in Scarborough’s Bluffer’s Park, I found my first beach glass (less tumbled than sea glass but quite pretty and pretty good!) I was thrilled! For me, it was like finding a treasure!
I soon found and collected quite a bit of beach glass…about 50 pieces maybe. Most of the glass was milky white or a very pale green though I did find a few dark or bright shades such as cornflower blue, stout brown and a bright red. Most of the glass pieces had not been in water for a sufficient time …many were yet to lose their jagged edges and become rounded … but it was good enough for me!
My ceaseless talking about sea-glass seemed to have infected my husband too and he too began searching the beach. Being picky, he collected fewer pieces but they were really smooth and worthy of being made into jewelry. We returned to Bluffer’s park again after a week (you do not have to pay for parking from start of winter till end of April) specifically to pick the beach glass. And this time I picked up other stuff like sea pottery, sea brick and round speckled stones which may actually be pieces of concrete with embedded stones …the concrete pieces have become round after being smoothened by the waves of the lake.
I loved the bricks on the beach this time! These are bricks with the edges rounded off by the waves and the holes in them look cute and they could be made to hold tiny plants or flowers! Another reason I am simply amazed by these bricks is that I compare these bricks of Toronto with the lousy quality bricks I have seen in India (Bangalore and Karnataka especially in the 70s when my dad was getting our house built). The red mud bricks in India were so weak that they would break if they fell from a height of three or four feet! And some bricks in India were so poorly burnt that they would crumble if it simply rained on them! While these bricks from Toronto which have been in Lake Ontario, for years have only their edges rounded off! It makes me angry thinking of the poor quality of so many things in India.
The red bricks in Toronto are almost like rocks! As people in Toronto (and many parts of US & Canada) have seen, there are millions of exposed brick houses and brick buildings which are over 100 years old…these brick houses are not covered with stucco or concrete and the bricks are exposed to the severe winters, to rain, snow, summer’s heat and yet, they remain strong! I have seen brick streets in Etobicoke and the distillery district, with vehicles running over them, yet they remain strong.
The rounded concrete pieces too were pretty intriguing for me. I have put the photos of all I found here and when you see the photos, you will know what I am talking about.
I did not see any sort of shells by the lake here…I don’t know if it’s too cold for the molluscs here in Lake Ontario near Scarborough…or if there’s some other reason as to why I did not find any shells here. We found plenty of pebbles and beach stones…they were beautiful, but I did not pick them.
My husband made these ear-rings and pendants which I wore with glee, the very next day. And I am planning to arrange the pieces of beach glass in different patterns, photograph them and save the photos. Unfortunately, I am not as creatively gifted as my husband and the only thing I can do is collect these glasses and weave fantasies about them!
Another topic of interest to me is driftwood. But I am yet to find interesting pieces and make something of them.