Making Sea Glass

There are two ways to make sea glass:

1)  Be a pirate in the 1790s … drink a bottle of wine… throw the empty bottle overboard… let the sea roll it in the sand for 100 years until it is broken and all the edges are smooth and frosted.

OR

2) Figure out a way to make it in 2 days… without any real work on your part.

I voted for #2.

A friend of mine had been given a box of stained glass pieces from her late mother in law. She wanted to do something interesting with them as a memento. We kicked around ideas and came up with sea glass wind chimes.

She loved the idea…and I did not know how to make sea glass…

So I was off. I knew that the glass had to tumble in sand to make the edges soft and the surface frosted. That is done by years in the water being rubbed by sand.

Yes, I was off to create years of sand rubbing…without all the years.

two foot long tumbler

two foot long tumbler

I had already made a tumbler to clean my fiddlehead fern knives, and I thought that would be a good place to start.

I filled it with glass pieces, sand, steel shavings and small pieces of metal scraps.

Then turned it on…..

Never one to be patient, I checked it every couple of hours… and saw no progress!

(For all you tech followers, here is a diagram of the tumbler.)

In case you were wondering what was what...

In case you were wondering what was what…

I decided to leave it for the night and went home….

But I forgot about it for 2 days.

A lot of sand ran out the front. But it still rolled on ...

A lot of sand ran out the front. But it still rolled on …

I walked back into the studio… heard the tumbler running … and ran over there to see what had happened.

Success!!!

The pieces all looked smooth with rounded edges. It was a great feeling to know that I had done the work of a pirate and 100 years of Atlantic ocean storms,  all in two days.

IMG_1046

eBay provided me with diamond drills to make the holes in the glass and the wind chimes turned out great.

Sorry,  forgot to take a photo of them before I wrapped them up for delivery.   Just picture in your mind the best wind chimes you have ever seen…. yep, that’s what they looked like!  Trust me.

 

As always, I would love to hear your ideas for what else I can make with the seaglass and the tumbler.

Use the form below,

or email me at;

steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

shirt front s

 

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5 Comments

  1. Love the tumbler! We were just talking about tumblers because the boys went gem hunting in the river, and we had two of their finds polished. I like the idea of the wind chimes so that the light comes through. I think that they could be incorporated beautifully in your sculptures where the light has an opportunity to show their beauty. Is there a way to put them into a lamp shade-like sculpture or how about in your butterfly wings? We enjoy the butterfly sculpture we bought at your show. It hangs indoors in our one-room school “shed” next to our garden. The shed has a slanted roof and ample light for a greenhouse as well. It is a very happy place.

    Wish you all the best in future creations.

    Joyce & Keoki

    Sent from Windows Mail

    Like

  2. The Mr. makes fun of me when I want to go to Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA, to collect sea glass.
    I am going to link back to you on my “S” post for this year’s AtoZ next month.
    http://www.thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

    Like

    • Feel free to use me as a day off… I know what it is like to come up with something every day for a month…. lot of work but fun too.

      Like

  3. Cool solution.

    Like

  4. I’ll have to trust you but seems like it was a brilliant idea and a beautiful project.

    * God Bless You and Yours!*

    On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 5:27 PM, Stephen Z Metals Blog wrote:

    > stephen*z posted: “There are two ways to make sea glass: 1) Be a pirate > in the 1790s … drink a bottle of wine… throw the empty bottle overboard… > let the sea roll it in the sand for 100 years until it is broken and all > the edges are smooth and frosted. OR 2) Figure” >

    Like


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