Sunday, August 29, 2010
Frosty White Sea Glass - So Simple & Beautiful
What is often referred to as "white" sea glass actually comes from glass that was once clear and colorless - or was at least meant to be colorless when it was produced. Back in the day glass makers struggled to achieve a finished glass item that was truly colorless. Very often the result was an almost colorless glass with a slight ( usually greenish ) tint to it.
As a collector I love to come off the beach and sort my white sea glass finds on a sheet of white paper as it is a lot of fun to see the subtle variations. Some pieces are truly frosty white and therefore "colorless" while others have a soft faint tint. I find that since the sorting process can go on forever I store all of this sea glass together. The logic being that it is all "white" or "clear" sea glass - after all the glass makers intended it to be colorless so together it all stays! Every now and then while sorting "white" sea glass I find that I actually found a soft pink or lavender piece that I though was white on the beach - which does get sorted in with my other rare pinks and lavenders...
White sea glass is sometimes considered to be a lackluster find by beachcombers who are wandering beaches in hopes of blues, aquas, reds with an even more hopeful eye seeking the rarest of all colors such as oranges and purples etc.
However, when you start to think about the white it starts to blow your mind. It at least blows mine anyway! The difference between a broken piece of clear glass and a sea transformed shard of frosty white sea glass is dramatic. There it is - the incredible story of what happens to glass in the sea is all explained to you in one piece of sea glass that is often considered to be a lowly common find - yet the story is so pure.
In the image above you can see that most of these pieces of sea glass are truly colorless - if you look closely you can see some shards that are faintly tinted...I photographed these pieces while wet so you can see the subtle nuances.
I found most of the white sea glass in my collection in Puerto Rico:)