Florida: Sea Glass and Ocean Gems Symposium

Melbourne Beach

Melbourne Beach

Boardwalk at Barrier Island Center

Boardwalk at Barrier Island Center

Entrance at Barrier Island Center

Entrance at Barrier Island Center

Signpost

Signpost

White Bowl of Sea Glass

White Bowl of Sea Glass

Blue Bowl of Sea Glass

Blue Bowl of Sea Glass

Red Bowl of Sea Glass

Red Bowl of Sea Glass

Sea Glass on Table

Sea Glass on Table

Old Auto Headlight Sea Glass Fragment

Old Auto Headlight Sea Glass Fragment

Our Recent Sea Glass Find (5 inches long)

Our Recent Sea Glass Find (5 inches long)

On Saturday we attended the First Sea Glass and Ocean Gems Symposium at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach, Florida.  The Center is located in the heart of Archie Carr Refuge, a major nesting site for sea turtles. The festival celebrated not only sea glass, but also sea life and all treasures found at the beach.   There were educational displays, along with arts and crafts on the back deck overlooking the ocean.  The sea glass displayed was collected on local beaches over the past 40 years – some of it washed in from ancient shipwrecks! More info about the Center is at:  https://www.facebook.com/BrevardCountyBarrierIslandCenter/   and  https://www.brevardfl.gov/EELProgram/Sanctuaries/BarrierIslandSanctuary

California Sea Glass – History in Your Hands

Overall Ceramic and Pottery Shards

Overall Ceramic and Pottery Shards

Overall Colorful Sea Glass Pieces

Overall Colorful Sea Glass Pieces

This ceramic piece says 1945 – the year World War II ended.

This ceramic piece says 1945 – the year World War II ended.

This ceramic piece says Japan and includes a rising sun and Japanese characters, which dates it to the late 1940s. One of the characters on the bottom line refers to water, and it may be part of the name of the manufacturer.

This ceramic piece says Japan and includes a rising sun and Japanese characters, which dates it to the late 1940s. One of the characters on the bottom line refers to water, and it may be part of the name of the manufacturer.

This ceramic piece has a beautiful blue willow pattern – the most popular pattern in the history of dinnerware.

This ceramic piece has a beautiful blue willow pattern – the most popular pattern in the history of dinnerware.

The writing on this piece ends in “erey” – perhaps it is part of the word “Monterey”.

The writing on this piece ends in “erey” – perhaps it is part of the word “Monterey”.

This unique piece is chicken wire embedded in textured striated glass (used for reinforcement and safety glass in cabinets, plus windows at schools and fire stations). This is a hot new vintage glass being recreated for current products. A piece of sea glass half this size was recently posted for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $69.99.

This must-have piece of glass is Jadite – opaque green glassware dating to the 1930s. It was so favored by Martha Stewart that she reintroduced this glass to modern times.

This must-have piece of glass is Jadite – opaque green glassware dating to the 1930s. It was so favored by Martha Stewart that she reintroduced this glass to modern times.

This ceramic piece is decorated with a beautiful pink pattern - perhaps flowers.

This ceramic piece is decorated with a beautiful pink pattern – perhaps flowers.

This ceramic piece is a bright green chartreuse color – perhaps Fiestaware from the 1950s.

This ceramic piece is a bright green chartreuse color – perhaps Fiestaware from the 1950s.

This clear glass piece is a bottle top ring. It was so highly prized by Calvin Klein that he dressed his best models in sea glass rings.

This clear glass piece is a bottle top ring. It was so highly prized by Calvin Klein that he dressed his best models in sea glass rings.

This piece is part of a striped ceramic plate.

This piece is part of a striped ceramic plate.

Sea Glass Collected in February 2020.

Misc Sea Glass Finds including Hand Painted Ceramic Piece with Orange Poppies, Baby Blue Piece of Tile, and Others.

This round bottom was made by Glass Containers Inc. between 1933-1960s. It may have been from a decorative liquor bottle. On the upper left are what looks like two interlocking diamonds, which are actually the initials GC.

This Mission Dry Corp Round Glass Bottom is from a Mission Royal Punch Cola Bottle from the 1940s/1950s.

Advertisement for Mission Royal Punch Cola in the 1940s/1950s. Matches the Mission Dry Corp Round Glass Bottom.

Recently we found amazing sea glass at Seaside Beach, California (near Monterey). We found some of the pieces on the beach, but Richard noticed that the best pieces were out at the surf line. After I saw a piece I just HAD to have, I took off my shoes and socks and went into the 50 degree ocean water – brrrrrrrr! Although I got soaked, it was worth it. Each piece of glass tells a story – it is like holding a piece of history in your hand. All of the sea glass is worn smooth and pitted by ocean weathering, so it is at least 50 years old. If you recognize or know more about any of these pieces of glass, please let me know.

UPDATE:  We returned to collect sea glass at Seaside in February 2020.  Still lots to find!  Our new favorites include the hand painted ceramic piece with orange poppies, baby blue piece of tile, the GC round glass bottom from an ornate liquor bottle, and the Mission Royal Punch Cola bottle bottom (the camel advertisement from the time is fantastic!).  

Sea Glass Christmas Cards

Sea Glass Christmas Tree Card

Sea Glass Christmas Tree Card

Sea Glass and Sea Shell Christmas Tree Card

Sea Glass and Sea Shell Christmas Tree Card

Here are Christmas greeting cards that I designed made with sea glass we collected in California, and sea shells we collected in Florida. Happy Holidays!

SeaGlass Wine

SeaGlass Wine

We were excited to find SeaGlass wine when we visited Monterey, California.  The area is perfect for growing Riesling grapes.  If you are lucky, you will find sea glass on the local beaches to match the beautiful blue wine bottle!  More info is at:  http://www.seaglasswines.com/Our-Wines/Riesling/

Florida: Sebastian Inlet

Sebastian Inlet Recreation Area, Florida

Pelicans Hoping for a Handout from Fisherman

Banded Brown Pelicans on Fishing Pavilion Roof

Banded Brown Pelicans on Fishing Pavilion Roof

Sand Dollar and Sea Fan on Sebastian Beach

Sea Glass on Sebastian Beach

Sebastian Inlet is a beautiful place to visit in Florida.  By April many species of fish (including sea trout, snook, and redfish) have left the inner grass beds of the Indian River Lagoon to feast at the mouth of the inlet.  At the same time king mackerel pass by the inlet on their way north for the summer.  Sea birds come to feast on the fish and nest in the mangroves.  If you see a bird that is banded, you can look it up at the Florida Shorebird Alliance website:  http://flshorebirdalliance.org/resources/banded-birds.aspx  

Sebastian Inlet is a wonderful place for fishing, birdwatching, and beachcombing.

Our BEST Piece of Sea Glass Ever!

Sea Glass from Yardley Lavender Perfume Bottle

Yardley Advertisement from 1946 in LIFE Magazine

Our best piece of sea glass was found on a beach south of San Francisco.  The clear frosted glass has “YARDLEY” embossed on it.  It came from a Yardley lavender perfume bottle manufactured between the 1930s and 1950s.  That means the glass was tumbled in the Pacific Ocean for at least 60 years, before washing in at our feet!

Our Biggest Pieces of Sea Glass

Cobalt Blue San Francisco Sodawater Bottle Bottom

Clear Frosted Palo Alto Creamery Milk Bottle Shard

Saratoga Springs Mineral Water Bottle Bottom

Our biggest pieces of sea glass were collected on the beaches south of San Francisco.  The cobalt blue round bottom probably came from a bottle made by the Bay City Sodawater Company in the late 1800’s in San Francisco.  The bottle would have contained mineral water, and would have had a cork stopper held in place with wire (called a blob top closure).  The clear frosted glass probably came from a pre-1930 milk bottle from a Palo Alto Creamery (back when cows grazed on the fields surrounding Stanford University).  The green sea glass probably came from a Saratoga Springs mineral water bottle from the early 1900s.  An excellent web site about bottles by the Society for Historical Archaeology is at:  http://www.sha.org/bottle/

Collecting Sea Glass

Colorful Sea Glass

Sea Glass, Turban Shells, and Sea Urchin Spines

Sea Glass Collected Near Fort Bragg, California

Sea glass is a wonderful treasure to find on the beach. It seems perfect to find it there, because the main ingredient of sea glass is sand. The acidity and tumbling action of the sea polishes and frosts the glass. It takes 20-30 years for the ocean waves to smooth the rough edges. The most common colors of sea glass are white, brown, and green (clear glass frosts to white in the ocean). Less common colors are pink, purple, and cobalt blue. Rare colors are cornflower blue, yellow, and orange. The rarest color of all is red because in the past it was made with gold. Sometimes white glass will have a faint lavender color. If so, it means the glass was tinted by the ultraviolet rays of the sun and may be over 100 years old.  The best time to look for sea glass is after a storm, especially during the extra low tides of December and January. Notice on the beach where little shells and stones wash in and collect – sea glass may be there too. Another good place to look for sea glass is near a jetty or rock jutting out into the water. Whatever treasures you may find, it is always a joy to spend time at the beach!  An article about beautiful blue cobalt sea glass is at: https://seaglassassociation.org/2018/03/07/the-mystery-and-allure-of-cobalt-sea-glass   The Sea Glass Journal is at:  http://www.seaglassjournal.com/index.htm

Glass Beach

Colorful Glass Beach

Close-Up of Glass Beach

Glass Beach Landscape

Glass Beach at Fort Bragg is amazing! The unique beach is covered in rounded, polished sea glass. The ocean waves and time have transformed this former dump (1949-1967) into a place of special beauty.

The World’s Only Sea Glass Museum

Colored Sea Glass Display at Museum

Ceramics and Pottery Display at Museum

At Fort Bragg in northern California is the world’s only Sea Glass Museum (http://www.internationalseaglassmuseum.com/).  Fort Bragg has the highest concentration of sea glass in the world!  In the past sea glass was called “Mermaid’s Tears”. Folklore said that mermaids cried every time a sailor was lost at sea, and their tears washed ashore as sea glass. When we visited the museum, we received sea glass collecting tips from the owner, Captain Cass Forrington.  What a treat!

Sea Glass Valentine

Sea Glass Valentine

This picture shows a valentine heart made from white sea glass collected along the San Mateo Coast, California.  Some of the beaches there are covered in beautiful colored pebbles.

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