Sea tumbled glass has got to be the most rewarding of finds for beachcombers who also happen to be jewelry artisans.The glass and pottery shards, smoothed and etched by repeated wave action are sometimes called mermaid's tears.

That they can be made into beautifully esthetic jewelry can be seen in Rita's creations, the artisan behind Sea Glass Designs on Etsy. Rita comes from my home province, Nova Scotia.

The green bottle top pendant modeled here is just one example of how she has made use of her finds from our beaches. The pieces are used just as they are. The range of glass and pottery shards are quite varied and have so much character. Rita wisely keeps embellishments to a minimum, better to showcase the glass.

Nova Scotia has a long history, about 400 years of bustling naval, shipping and fishing activities. The glass could have come from litter carelessly thrown overboard. But Nova Scotia is also known as the one of the shipwreck capitals of North America. The stormy, foggy and sometimes treacherous conditions off our coast have resulted in an estimated 10,000 wrecks littering the sea floor around the province.  Some of the debris do make it to shore as little pieces of history in the sand.

The rarest colours are orange and red. I previously blogged on a lovely creation made from a red sea glass. Black too is an uncommon colour - these pieces are from pre-1860 bottles which were originally olive-green. So next time you go walking along a sea or lake shore, keep a look out for naturally tumbled glass.

Photos with kind permission from Rita.

Wikipedia : Sea Glass
CNN : Strolling the Shore for Sea Glass
Canadian Geographic : Treacherous waters
Shipwrecks of Nova Scotia
The Beading Gem's Journal