Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shop Talk: Working with Beach Glass

My brother and his family recently spent a few days on the coast of Maine relaxing, swimming in the ocean and beach combing. When they arrived at our place I was handed a hat-full of beach glass they found along the Atlantic Ocean. Literally in a hat. 

Some of the more interesting pieces are full bottoms to bottles, which help identify where the glass came from. However it is far to heavy for me to use for jewelry even as a pendant for a necklace. So I was focused to the smaller shards in the bottom of the hat. 

I had a chat with several shops to try to figure out how to use the beach glass. I explored the option of drilling the glass, but decided that it sounded like quite an operation to set up a drill station. I was told I'd need to do the drilling with flowing water. There just isn't any place in my house where I could set that up; not without taking over a bathroom.

A bead store suggested I try a specialized glue (E-6000; industrial strength craft adhesive). I also picked up a silver leaf pendant loop, which are designed specifically for gluing as they have a grid pattern on the back to hold the glue in place. After one day the glue is set. 

Lastly, I polished the glass. Some people prefer the rough look of the tumbled beach glass, but I had a tip that if I used just a dab of mineral oil it would give the glass a bit of luster. You can see above 2 pieces of the same glass: one with mineral oil (the finished pendant) and one without. Also in the 3 necklaces; the center aqua blue glass is not polished. I think I'm going to do this one as well ... once the glue sets. I took the picture while it was still drying, but you can see it is very sturdy glue. So how do you prefer to work with beach glass? Wire wrapping or gluing? Polished or rough and tumbled?



Ooh lucky you -- sea glass in a hat! I love the look of unpolished sea glass; that middle blue pendant is beautiful.

m.e. said...

what a Wonderful treasure !
I lOVE beach glass.
My daughter and I once spent $56 for overweight luggage fees to bring home our "free" beach glass!! LOL!!
I have had great luck drilling mine in a shallow dish of water with a diamond bit on my dremel. No fancy set up needed. Just go slow ,let the drill do the work and stop at intervals to rinse out the glass dust from the hole.
m.e. :)

My Life Under the Bus said...

Yes Just like the about reader states you can use a bowl of water - staci smith just did a tute about drilling sea glass - maybe on Love my Art Jewelry blog? Love the turquoise It's my favorite!

My Life Under the Bus said...

gaaa " above reader" lol

Plami said...

these are so beautiful! I especially love the green ones <3


Christine Altmiller said...

love these! i am torn between it being au natural or the little pop with the mineral oil. both look great! more more!

Tania Covo said...

I love sea glass any which way, all the pendants look lovely but my favourite is the middle one. I'm sure it will look good 'polished' as well.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful work! Beach glass so cool since each piece is different. Sometimes I like it smooth and polished, other times rough and tumbled. I guess it depends on color and how it will be worked with. I love E6000. It adheres anything to anything!!!

Ashley said...

I love the beach glass pieces! I would totally wear one of these, so unique <3



Southern (California) Belle

mommysdream said...

Beautiful sea glass the bails you've chosen!

Thea said...

LOVE these!!

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