I get asked, “What is sea glass?” quite often. So let me start my clarifying for those who need. Sea glass begins as
normal shards of broken glass, trash essentially. The glass is naturally weathered by tumbling around with the sand and rocks in the ocean until the edges are rounded and smooth and can be found washed up along the shore. The weathering process takes about 1-2 years and being in salt water gives the glass the frosted/matted appearance. Beach glass comes from fresh water and due to the difference in ph balance, does not have as frosted as an appearance as sea glass. The most common colors that can be found are white(clear), brown, and kelly green. Jade, forest or lime greens, and orange/yellow/amber shades are less common. Purple, red, opaque milk glass, and cobalt blue are the most rare, and of course, every glass collector’s favorite score. Worn by the waves and recycled by the sea, sea glass both natural and man made.
Even before I had journeyed out to Puerto Rico I had heard legends of the pounds of sea glass that could be found along the shores. I dared to dream of making great fortunes from creating wearable sea glass art! Little did I know, SeaGlass is Kind of a big deal here in West Puerto Rico. My idea was in no way original. So instead of creating jewelry from the mermaid treasures washed ashore, I turned my efforts of sea glass collecting into a form of physical therapy for myself. (You can find details about my auto immune disease under the About Page under Ankylosing Spondylititis). I found peace on the beach! All of a sudden I was able to conquer each individual thought at a more peaceful pace as I walked the shoreline. My obsessive mind was thrilled at the repetitive task of picking up pieces of naturally tumbled glass and my body developed a slow squatting technique that forced me to work my legs without too much strain. Over time I was able to walk longer distances and eventually I could even maneuver without my cane. My passion for my new hobby caught the interest of some friends back home in San Diego, Ca and once I had enough to share I began shipping glass across the country.
Since the sea glass jewelry market is already dominated out here by some truly talented ladies, I have found other ways to strengthen my own craft of crocheting and use sea glass to embellish my designs. Instead of buttons or fake eyeballs I use tiny pieces of sea glass for the eyes on my crocheted toys, and sea glass buttons have become a trademark for my hand crocheted purse sets (you can find pictures of the crocheted purses and sea glass buttons on my GypsySugarCloud Creations Page).
I want to go back for a moment and talk about those truly talented ladies who are dominating the sea glass market here in West Puerto Rico! There are three women in particular whose enchanting personalities are just as magical as the creations they produce. I never get tired of seeing their latest designs which range from pure and simple to intricately detailed gypsy mermaid treasures. I will link you to each of their Etsy, Instagram, and Facebook pages where you can keep yourself updated on their latest designs….once I’m done gushing about how wondrous these women are that is!
Jules is the owner and creator of Ocean State of Mind, a whimsical beach bohemian boutique located here in Rincon, PR. If it is silver, gold, collected off the shore, wrapped in lace and love, or dripping with mermaids tears, there is pretty much a guarantee that you will find it at Ocean State of Mind. She carries just about everything a bohemian, gypsy mermaid beach babe could dream of and frequently hosts fun events such as clothing swap, sangria tastings, and yoga events. Honestly, I personally have to avoid her shop unless I need something specific because I have absolutely no restraint in there and my heart Truly feels like it Needs Everything she has to offer!
Ariana is the genius gypsy of Summer Love Jewelry. She uses
exquisite shells, sea glass, gemstones, and other treasures that she has hand collected here in Puerto Rico and during her travels all across the lands. She has a wide variety of styles that range from simple beach bangles to long chained sparkly druizy pendants. Many of her creations can actually be found in Ocean State of Mind (as well as a couple other shops here on the island)!
Johna is the mermaid mastermind behind Special J Creations. She is saltier than your average beach babe. You can tell her passion for metal work runs deep. Johna specializes in silver, sea glass, gemstone rings and necklaces, and can even create you your own custom designed piece using treasures that you have collected yourself. I have a super special “something” I have been saving among my estate art treasures and am looking forward to an upcoming custom design of my very own someday soon (no spoilers until it’s made!)!
Each of these women have similar interests and mediums but their styles are so exceptionally individual that each can fulfill a fashion need for every woman no matter where her tastes may lay. Their individual passions for their crafts is more than mere hobbies, it is their Lifestyle. It is incredibly inspiring to see young, strong, free spirited women who love what they do so much to have made their dreams into realities. I am blessed to have met these ladies and I look forward to every creative artistic spirit that floats into my path in the future. Browse around all the links I have provided below! Follow along for news and updates on what is going on in each ladies workshop!
Ocean State of Mind
Summer Love Jewelry