Jun 29, 2011

Collecting: Sea Glass

I moved to California after having spent almost 22 years (my entire life at that point) having never seen the ocean, or any body of water bigger than Lake Superior. I was amazed the first time I sat down in the sand and faced the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean. It seemed to go on forever, and the waves crashed and it was serene and beautiful. And after awhile I got bored. I started to dig around in the sand and see what I could find. Shells, rocks, and a cigarette butt, nothing too exciting, but I kept on digging. It wasn't long after that I found my very first piece of Sea Glass. It was as tiny as a pebble, smooth all around and kelly green. I'd never seen anything like it. I thought it was a rock and put it right into my pocket. A little while later I found another piece. Then I was hooked. 

I lived in the Bay Area for 6+ years. Not to far from where I stayed is an amazing stretch of water known as "Tepco Beach" or more formally as "Point Isabel." It's in Richmond, near the Central exit, accross from the big costco. You have to jump a little fence, but it's worth it. It is an extreamly polluted shore, mostly occupied with ceramic pieces dumped there by the Tepco china factory. The Tepco factory produced out of El Cerrito from 1930 until 1968. 

The broken, cracked and unwanted pieces dumped at the Point Isabel site have spent many years in water, washed over by tide and bathed in the suns rays. They are soft on the edges, and in their colors. I spent many a (low tide) afternoon here digging and picking. 

Over the years I found many a interesting piece; A small green chunk washed down, which looked to me like the shape of Minnesota. A tea cup missing a handle, A fragement with a chickens head printed on it, The most marvelous pink sliver, A handful of (what seemed to be) clay buddah heads....and so on and so on. I found the best pieces of sea glass on this beach. Every visit I'd leave with 20 or so pieces, a whole poccet full. I'd add them to my collection as soon as I got home. I have green glass, white, clear, brown, amber, yellow, a tiny orange bit, and even a tiny red one too. But mostly it's green and clear. 

Though far from Tepco Beach, and California, I still keep my collection close to me. 

If you have any questions about sea glass, what certain colors signifiy, where good collecting spots are, etc. Or if you want to connect with other Sea Glass collectors check here: North American Sea Glass Association

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I had no idea that sea glass even existed!