My passion for Lake Erie Beach glass began at a young age. I can remember being about 7 or 8 when I became obsessed with beach combing among the shells and pebbles at my grandparents, seeking out the lovely frosted gems. There is a strong emotional connection to Lake Erie with my family.
Beach glass begins as trash. Broken bottles and jars, discarded plates, pottery and crocks. They are smoothed by nature’s hand, between the sand and waves with her current. It comes from Inner harbors, factory and dump sites. To me its a time capsule of life events. Someone’s tea cup, toy or apothecary jar that is resilient and compressed and infused with the scars of history which survives the force of nature. Triangular patterns tossed by the waves and wind from shipwrecks or garbage. It’s an ongoing magical mystery to me. When the sun and moon align for the gravitational pull, give me a north wind any day especially spring and fall.
Nature takes something so broken and makes something so beautiful with her frosted patina appearance. The Beach is calming. I meditate and pray there. It teaches me patience and faith. Relaxation and to be more observant. A Daily Gift like a Lottery. I feel like an adventurer or archaeologist when I’m on the hunt. With a touch of piracy for the treasure – there’s a certain romance to your heart that is not easy to explain. Diamonds are created by nature and defined by man. Whereas with Beach glass or Mermaid’s Tears, as they are often called, this is refuse from man and defined by nature.
I myself like to hunt on a straight line, high then low. Some folks use a zigzag or there are “diggers.” But I constantly retrace my steps looking at the lay of the land, training your eye to the shadows of the rocks and shells.
To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the way the water refuses to stop kissing the shore line no matter how many times its sent on her way.
Women find more pink, blue, and aqua while men tend to find green and brown.
“Glassing” for the “cooked” product is becoming more scarce. More people have found the passion and most of our prior containers were glass which result now in cans and plastics.
How long has it been since you’ve seen perfume, tableware, fruit jars, marbles, poison, and snuff containers? Coke Bottles, Clorox, ponds, milk of magnesia or Vicks Vapor Rub with their beautiful cobalt blue? Light bulb bases, stoppers or insulators?
Put me on the beach and set me free – hunched over in shuffled steps and I’ll see you in a few hours.