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Archive for September, 2008

Unearthed at the Ocean

 

This morning, with my eyes closed, the ocean sounds like the breath of the universe. She inhales a gulp of water, retracts, holds and releases again. It’s not all calm and centered though. The sand, rocks and even the cement base of the stairs leading to to the ocean’s dry and traversable areas are subject to her moods and have been cracked and swept away in large chunks.

 

Everything can be rearranged, the earth, friendships, the solid foundations once unquestioned. It is terrifying and awe-inspiring to see the ocean in her power. I’ve walked the same beach for over a year, regularly, and seen changes. There are deep crevices in the sand, pits and water paths where once there were only tiny pebbles. Huge rocks, once looking as solid as mountains have been dislodged, and turned into soccer balls rolling the ocean base.

 

What was once almost a Getty like structure is starting, near the end, to have a mutiny. Lone rocks once holding together as part of a team or a famous band are split by tides and independent explorers pursuing solo career paths.

 

 

The ocean is constant but how she weathers the sand, the beach line and the rocks are not. In my friendships, boundaries get changed and it’s not always clear if a protective wall is coming down to to allow that great honesty and intimacy or if a crack in the foundation not repaired let dirt, insects and mold find a haven. Humbled, over and over, by the knowing that good intentions aren’t always enough and also more optimistic than ever that even the shape of change is not always a scary shadow on the bedroom wall.

 

 

“There should be some good hunting today,” my husband said, “and it looks like the sky will clear.” What he means is it has been stormy. The storms, not the calm, deliver the new gems, shake loose stuck glass and bring dinner plates from decades ago to the shore no longer round or hard or good for eating off of but amazing and whole in new form.

 

 

I will walk the sand and some gifts I will find, others I will walk past, by or even step on top of without seeing they are under foot. So it goes. We only know what we know, see what we see and learn what we learn at our own pace.

 

  

Catch of the Day:  My life is enriched and not smashed when changed. Even the destruction of historic seeming landmarks can make way for new perspectives, observations and landscapes.

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As promised, here are pictures of the raw sea glass I received from an anonymous source. It’s stunning and amazing to get such gems from a complete stranger wanting nothing in return.

all of the pieces

all of the pieces

 

closer inspection

closer inspection

 

color and texture contrast

color and texture contrast

In two of these pieces in the top run can’t you almost feel the water rushing and tumbling? I can see the water in the glass as opposed to the image of the glass in the water.

 

 

This green heart reminds me of tender growth, transition and the uncertainty of things taking on new shape. We know the shape and color of a heart. What happens when you mess with the image, or in my case, the roles we take on in life? What happens when they shift from something red, reliable and predictable, and are seen with new eyes? There is something strange but also promising in the green. It’s tender and unfamiliar and yet, brand new, undefined, named or claimed. It offers something unexpected. But, what it was, the pulsing beating rhythmic red heart, is lost. The image, the reality and what picture will come next I do not know…

 

This even lighter, sea foam green, reminds me of a rock sculpture, a form waiting to take shape and solid in shapelessness.  What gifts I was given by a perfect stranger!

Catch of the Day: Living with the uncertain shape and texture of the unexpected.

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Practical Note:I’ll be back at the Hingham Farmer’s Market for the next five Sat’s to close out the season. Sept. 20th, Sept. 27th, Oct. 4, Oct. 11, Oct. 18 and Oct. 25. It’s the first time I’ve worked as a vendor at a Farmer’s Market. I have to say it’s a vibrant community. And I’ve had some amazing experiences and met many people.

The Sea Glass Fairy

I have to tell a story though. I’m usually particular about having to pick my own sea glass. If my daughter, husband or a friend gives me a piece, I keep it but in general I collect all the pieces I use in my jewelry myself. It feels like what I imagine those cooking from scratch feel like. I want to own the entire process of finding, locating, picking up and plucking a piece to bringing it home, adoring it, deciding what to do with it and then bringing it out to the world.

But last week, a lean woman came over to me near the end of the day. She may have been in her sixties and had a wide and shy smile. She handed me a bag of jewels, sea glass she had found and “plucked” and wanted to give me. The way she handed it to me is the way a mother hands a friend too proud to ask for money but in dire straights a large bill…. tender and determined at the same time, a sort of “here” you can’t say no to.

And I didn’t. I asked if I could hug her though I’m not a big hugger. I told her to take any pieces of my jewelry for herself, for others. She had a prized necklace on she wore all the time and didn’t need a pendant. I showed her earrings, said to take gifts. She took too little for what she gave. More than what was in the petty cash box, the earning’s of the day, was that bag of sea glass. I was tired and didn’t unpack the car but I brought that bag into the house as soon as I came home and I savored each piece.

There were thick piecces, with parts of Coca-Cola spelled out. There were medium and tiny thick and perfect deep dark acqua as well unusual shaped white pieces. She asked to be anonymous and I resepct that but THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU MY SEA GLASS FAIRY. You know who you are. I was so stunned I dont know if I even conveyed my gratitude. I love each and every piece and more that you brought this gift I did not ask for and gave it expecting nothing back. Thank You! 

We all have losses, big and small, that go unasked for and are not always welcome. We take kicks and sometimes are knocked over by life blows and conflict. But there are gifts too – unasked for – and they must be noted as well….

Catch of the day: Gratitude for the unasked for kindness of my sea glass fairy and how glorious and heartened her gift made me feel. 

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I know many who read this blog are sea glass lovers. Many people come by the Hingham Farmer’s market on Sat’s and say, “Now I need to figure out what to do with my” and they might say bag, or jars or collection. People are attached to their own treasures.

So, for those wishing to try to make something with your own piece I’ll share a few links and also say the book,A Passion for Sea Glass is a great resource. The book is about many different artists and includes some “how to” guides as well for attempting similar projects on your own (some seem doable and others quite ambitious but all are inspiring)….

However, here are a few links I haven’t seen or posted before. There are do-it-yourself projects and some wild already-make creations. 

Jewelry

Wire wrapping several pieces of sea glass into a necklace: http://bettyninja.blogspot.com/2008/05/wrap-your-own-sea-glass.html

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_2157650_make-sea-glass-jewelry.html

For Kids to Remember Summer through fall and winter (and grown-ups too)

Beach Jar http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/feature/famf67project0697/famf67project063097.html

 

Capture Your Beach Memories with a Holiday Beach Ornament: http://parentingteens.about.com/od/christmasornaments/ss/ornaments1_4.htm

 

For those who love mosaics you’ve got to go to this site:

http://mosaicartsource.wordpress.com/2007/04/22/deep-sea-glass-mosaic-work-in-progress-grannys-empire-of-art-san-francisco/ 

O.k., you can customize your own sea glass keds. I’m not even kidding! Is it just me, or is semi-comforting to know there are places beyond the beyond where people can take this passion. I may be seeing the world throughsea glass eyeglasses (and I mean frames and not just the lens’s) http://www.serenityseaglass.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?

If this oesn’t show you anything s possible I don’t know what does. It’s comforting somehow to know there is someone out there maybe even more obsessed with and consumed by sea glass. If so, his person may get my vote… :http://www.zazzle.com/sea_glass_custom_keds_shoes_kedsshoe-167103600734408960

 

This isn’t a how-to but examples of belly button rings, toe rings and wine tags. There are so many directions to move into. http://www.serenityseaglass.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=SSG&Category_Code=SIG

 

I’m going to have to pace myself and balance the parenting first and the sea glass collecting, writing, jewelry making and selling with building more skills and learning how to make sea glass art. Day by day is all I can do. I had no idea this entire world existed.

Happy Creatng and admiring.

Sea Glass Girl craving an ocean trip and a back to the basics wire-wrap with minimal if any decorative elements. We’ll see what I create next. I’m thinking pure silver and glass.

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Yes, that’s right. Sea glass collecting has helped me slow down and realize I can take more time to cultivate a garden. Some parts of my yard are sharp-edged glass, just broken, and have no seeds, or even good earth to place them in. Other parts make me stand back each morning and do a happy gasp. For example, when I take my daughter to school, leaving we remark on the enormous morning glories open and opening. We notice the new ones that have appeared. By the time I bring her home from school they have all closed up for the day. We notice them opened and closed.

Also, the sunflowers in my yard are stunning and I’ve been in a friendly competition with a friend for height. This year though, i have wild-ish looking sunflowers, small and close to the ground as well as the more soldier-like ones standing guard and alert by my front porch. 

I don’t even know how the cosmos got from my front yard to my back, but as with ocean glass, things travel and you don’t always know who or what the source. So, here, I share some photos of my garden-in-process. Little pieces, petal gems decorating the air and reminding me that summer is not yet over.

Before I Opened

Before I Opened

stunning

stunning

commanding and busy bee

commanding and busy bee

zoom in to the center for a new view

zoom in to the center for a new view

close to the ground but facing the sun

close to the ground but facing the sun

in case there was any question...

in case there was any question...

a little red sun

a little red sun

This beauty is free to look at every day!

This beauty is free to look at every day!

happy porch

happy porch

blurry but you get the idea

blurry but you get the idea

wandering cosmos

wandering cosmos

delicate

delicate

cultural diversity in the garden

cultural diversity in the garden

stone crop becoming - from green to white to pink to red

stone crop becoming - from green to white to pink to red

 

Catch of the Day: My friend M who helped me with my garden this year and who has the most glorious garden I’ve ever seen.

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Here are some of my newer pieces. I’ve discovered recycled sterling silver (refined not mined) which goes with my be-as-green-as-you-can-be philosophy. It’s shiny and pretty and some people prefer it. So, these pieces show some sterling silver. I’m also doing earrings and key chains and book marks and have started to make undecorated sea glass pendants. So, here are some newer photos. Again, these are for sale at the Hingham Farmer’s Market (www.hinghamfarmersmarket.org) where I am most every Sat. from 10am to 2pm until late October ’08.

aqua does all the work and the piece is wrapped in sterling

aqua does all the work and the piece is wrapped in sterling

 

again, when the sea glass is aqua little else is needed (sterling silver too)

again, when the sea glass is aqua little else is needed (sterling silver too)white sea glass, pink heart crystal and gold fill wire

it's hard to see that this is a light purple piece of sea glass but it is and wrapped in sterling silver with crystal bead accents

itsometimes the sea glass likes to be alone, unadorned and blueblue earrings, finding matches is more work than anything I dopurple and white and still in test phase to see how the sea glass holds up after many uses

something for the non-jewelry types - a book mark

something for the non-jewelry types - a book mark

the gender neutal book mark for the men

the gender neutal book mark for the men

I can't keep brown in stock. It must match everything for many people

I can't keep brown pieces in stock.

pink - from my "I want to be alone" collection

pink -and smaller - as people have pointed out not everyone wants to wear two tons of sea glass

hanging necklaces - a sample

hanging necklaces - a samplesea glass with more sea glass - delightful!testing out these key chains to see if the sea glass can handle being tumbled on countertops and dropped on the groundsmalland sweet white, silver and black crystal beadssometimes a less rounded and flatter piece of sea glass sits nice on the necklinethe pottery tumbled by the ocean is stunning as well though I have far fewer pieces like thisfinally,i like to use beads at the top of the sea glass too and purple is one of my favorite necklace colors. this has a sterling silver wrap too.

These photos give a good idea of the type of work I do. However, sometimes the sea glass speaks and I just try to “listen” and see if it wants to be “hugged” with wire as my friend K says I am fond of doing, or if it wants to be alone without any decorative elements. And other times I’m drawn to playing with new techniques and tools. The one thing my work always has is SEA GLASS!

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There are gems I can’t part with, pieces so perfect I only want to touch and view. I have a fondness for bottle necks and bases. I loved ridges and edges and letters and numbers. Clues. All of these are clues as to what a piece may have been. Colors matter. I love the variety. But the thick texture of a piece tumbled since pre-historic times, seems to hold my imagination. Now, I “know” the glass didn’t exist before the beasts but what lurks in that water that’s awe inspiring and doesn’t have the Jaws movie sound track? This can keep me occupied for hours.

 

Chunks of Stunning

Chunks of Stunning

 It’s not the Titanic like jewels tossed into the water, the actual gems I hope will surface but the ones transformed. So for me, even loving sea glass is about loving the way nature smoothes and transforms, carries and heals broken pieces into something holy and whole as they arrive on sure. And it is amazing to e how marbles and bottles ride the tide and tumble the deep and are not broken. The resilience of those pieces is staggering considering how unlikely it is to be tumbled and weathered and remain entirely whole. But, at this stage in my life, I am drawn to bottle necks, bases and fragments of an unidentified whole – the piece that breaks off and writes a new story as it travels.

I’ve put up some of the pieces I work with and turn into pendants, earrings, book marks and key chains (o.k., well I’ve only shown pendants but I’ll fix that in the next post), but here I will share a glimpse into my collection – or as my daughter says, “a collection of collections.”

The bottle neck collection

The bottle neck collection

 

whites and greens

whites and greens

 

marbles and bases

marbles and bases

 

Another angle on stunning and chunky

Another angle on stunning and chunky

Beautiful gift and browns

Beautiful gift and browns

 O.k., these pictures may reveal how I also collect dust on the mantle.

Catch of the Day: Gratitude for ALL of the bounty in my life.

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