27 May 2018

How to draw sea glass


I thought it would be fun to try different materials and techniques to draw or paint sea glass. This could be useful, for example, if you wanted to record different pieces in your collection and where you found them. 
I started by drawing the outlines of some sea glass shapes. I then filled these in using different materials in four steps. The first row is coloured pencil, the second Tombow markers, and the third is watercolour. I used a similar technique for each of them.



1. I used one colour to roughly fill in each piece.

2. I used the same or a similar colour to go over this and give more depth.

3. I added more shadow using grey inside the sea glass pieces.

4. I added a shadow under each piece using grey.

And here's how I've used the Tombow markers version in my bullet journal.

26 May 2018

Displays using sea glass and pottery

I've been collecting so much sea glass and pottery, that I had to think of some ways to use it around my home! One fun way to use it is to add it to little displays around the house.
The display in my hall changes every so often, and at the moment it's themed around the Moomins. Sea glass fits very well with the lighthouse I got in a Moomin advent calendar, and the book Moominpappa at Sea.
The first place I ever found sea glass and pottery was in Italy, so it was natural that I would include those in the Italian themed display I had a few years ago, along with some beach pebbles that I'd also found there.

And I'm coming up with other ideas of where to display my sea glass and pottery, like alongside this appropriate Jenny Colgan book.
 
And beside this, also appropriate, William Blake quote, on my spray-painted letter board.


25 May 2018

Sea pottery mosaic brooch

I thought it would be fun to put some of my tiny pieces of sea pottery to a good use, so I decided on a brooch.
I had some grout left over from a mosaic kit I got in a charity shop, a wooden circle left over from a dollshouse kit, and a brooch pin, so I had everything I needed!
1. I started by laying out my pottery pieces on a wooden circle, to create a pleasing design. 

2. Once I'd decided on the placement, I glued them in place with PVA glue.

3. As the glue was drying I mixed the grout.

4. I spread the grout over the whole design, including round the edges, and wiped some of the excess off.

5. After the grout had dried a little, I wiped the rest of the excess off.

6. I glued a brooch pin on the back.
The whole thing took less than an hour to make, and it was all dry and ready to wear on my Seasalt dress the next day! I can't wait to gather more tiny pieces in different colours to make more jewellery!

24 May 2018

Sea glass storage and display ideas

Gathering lots of sea glass and pottery means you have to find ways to display or store it all. While you may keep some of it in boxes hidden away, it's always good to have some out where you can see it.

The simplest idea of all is to put sea glass in a glass jar, and I have a few of these on the go.

Another idea is keeping some of it in bowls.

A box frame can be filled with sea glass and fairy lights to make a light box.


The bases of pottery jars found on the beach are great for display. 

And printers' trays or thimble houses are also great for displaying your finds. A little dab of museum wax can be helpful to stop the items falling over. 
  

22 May 2018

Beachcombing books

I've only got a couple of books to help me in my beachcombing so far, but I'm looking forward to getting more.
The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline by Steve Trewhella and Julie Hatcher is really in-depth and fascinating. It mainly concentrates on all the living things that you will find washed up on the beach, and it arrived just after some big storms so I found it really useful! It hasn't much in it about sea glass or pottery, which are what I mainly go to the beach to find, but I didn't mind this at all as I am interested in all the things I see around me when I'm beachcombing.


The other book is The Ultimate Guide to Sea Glass. This has beautiful photos in it, and lots of helpful tips. I did have a couple of problems with the book, though, one on the production side and the other with the way it was written. I found that the placement of a lot of the photos didn't tie up with how they were mentioned in the text - the book would say that a photo was below when it was above, or mention something on the left of the photo that was actually on the right. I also felt that the writer spent a bit too much time talking about how good her own powers of identifying sea glass are, which came across as a tiny bit arrogant although I'm sure she didn't mean it that way.

21 May 2018

The pottery thief


Little did I know when I started collecting sea pottery, that there was a pottery thief way back in my family tree! 

Soon after I’d started beachcombing, I came across the British Newspaper Archive online, and I had fun searching for some of the Westie family, on my dad’s side of the family. In one newspaper I came across the story of James Westie. 

James Westie and two other lads, Robert Henderson and William Harrick, who worked with him at the Methven & Son pottery in Kirkcaldy, were accused of each stealing several pieces of earthenware pottery during the month of August. James Westie was the grandson of David Westie and Elizabeth Myles, and son of David Westie and Agnes Dall, and was just 12 years of age at the time. The items he was accused of stealing were two teacups and saucers. The boys seem to have been caught by an elaborate sting operation involving file marks being made on items that were found hidden behind barrels in the finishing department. 

A charge against William Harrick’s mother of receiving the stolen goods was found not proven. Several cups and plates had been found on her kitchen shelf, which she said her son had brought in and she’d meant to return, and other items were found smashed to pieces and hidden in the ash bucket. Henderson’s mother was also questioned about allowing items to remain in her home. 

Bailie Dowie said he hoped the fine of 10s 6d each would serve as a warning to the boys, and that he was very sorry to see lads so young charged with such a serious crime as that of theft. 

Many of the pottery fragments I’ve found are by Methven & Son, and it’s fun to think that some of the pieces I find may have been the same design as those stolen by this 12 year old family member!

20 May 2018

Beach hearts


One of the things I really enjoy at the beach is finding heart-shaped stones, bits of shells, and pieces of pottery or sea glass. 
Like my love of collecting sea glass, my interest in hunting for hearts started on the Cinque Terre in Italy, where I first found a heart-shaped stone by the side of a path, then seemed to see heart and star shapes in various different places. 



Sometimes I take my heart-shaped finds home, but recently I’ve started to "collect" them by just taking photos of some of them.



19 May 2018

Sea beads and buttons

The most colourful things that I've found so far on the beach have been beads and buttons. It's sometimes hard to tell whether beads are glass or plastic, but I don't really mind. And I've even found a whole bracelet in lovely seaside colours.





18 May 2018

Sea pottery - tiny pieces

One of the challenges I've set myself while beachcombing is to find the tiniest piece of what can still be recognised as pottery, and it's a lot of fun! Along the way I've come across all of these lovely tiny pieces.


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