Having been fascinated by treasure hunting around our Islands since a very small child – I though I would share some of my favourite pieces of glass with you. This is my Ultimate Shetland sea glass collection!
Sea glass is glass found along a sea or shoreline. Sea glass can be fragments, shards and remnants of glass pieces that, for a variety of reasons has ended up naturally tumbling along a shore or beach. How these pieces of glass ended up on beaches has many explanations – Humans around the world have been discarding refuse glass: tableware, bottles, window panes, dishes etc into the sea from ships and onto beachside land fills for hundreds of years.
You can see my prized and only red piece in the picture has now been identified by a vintage car collector as a piece of headlight! The car collector was able to tell me which type of car it was from!
The 2 marbles I found at Vidlin (next tot he Whalsay ferry) are worn down to half their size, you wonder if it was children playing at the beach who lost them? or were they used inside Codd bottles? (Hiram Codd invented the Cold bottle i 1872, which used a glass marble to block the neck of the bottle and keep a soft drink carbonated.) Codd bottle marbles are green in colour and are highly prized, I love mine!
Living on The Shetland Islands there are plenty of beaches and cost line to check out. The weather is friendly to sea glass hunters as well; frequent storms stir up the waves and rain to keep other beachgoers away!
Rare coloured glass includes- Lavender, turquoise, pink, gray and black. Super Ultra rare includes – Orange, Yellow and red! Also collector favourites are the bottle stoppers, I have a few but not many. My own favourite glass finds are beads, as I love to imagine what the necklace would look like and who wore it, when! I also love to use my sea glass treasure in my own jewellery with resin – for the full collection visit my webshop – www.sarahkayarts.com
Please let me know your favourite sea glass find!
I was delighted to be chosen to design Shetland inspired product by Shetland Arts – to be sold in their 3 retail outlets in Shetland. After a lot of though and research, I came up with the idea of using shell sand collected from beaches around Shetland and setting it into clear resin – my medium of choice. I decided to make something useful, instead of ornamental clutter! – My coasters were born. Shetland arts were pleased with the design idea and ordered 100! Making that quantity all the same was a challenge.
I have heard they are selling well form the 3 outlets which are – Mareel, Lerwick. Sumburgh lighthouse gift shop and Bonhoga Gallery, Weisdale. Shetland Arts own the exclusive right to selling my sand coasters for one year. What a great project to design an original product for a specific outlet, if you own a shop, get in touch!
Explore the Shetland shore –
When you walk along the shore line, your never sure what you are going to find! Perhaps nothing different or maybe the most beautiful nugget of worn sea glass you have ever seen! Or a rare sea bean?
Having been exploring the beaches around Shetland since a toddler I thought I was familiar with most shore finds, creatures, seaweeds and shells. However it is only now that I have experienced spending time IN the sea that I have really been able to appreciate and admire all of the sea creature, how they interact with each other and how they are perfectly adapted to the environment.
As well as a huge learning journey, being in the water also provides a visually stunning experience every time, as you can see from my photos it is amazing under the surface!
I love to share these photos using social media as I can’t believe how few people think about looking underwater, when we are surrounded by the sea on Shetland. Days when it looks cold, horrible and grey on land, it is stunning in the water.
My plan is to use the photos for creating artwork over the winter. Although time is running away as it is nearly December! I will get there. The aquamarine colours are addictive to me.
I also love to use the any bits of seaweed, shells, sea pottery etc to make jewellery which is special from Shetland, each piece original and handcrafted by me. Each one unique and meaningful from a small business. Thank you everyone for your support with purchasing my jewellery!
p.s I also highly recommend watching The Octopus Teacher movie.
Sea swimming has become ever more popular during lockdown in many places including Shetland! Some choose to wear wetsuits (me!) and some not! I have joined in as a result of fascination with photos appearing on Instagram from Alison Moore in the Orkney island @alisonisland, they are magical with gorgeous colours and sea life. Exactly what I have been thinking about painting over this next winter. So i decided to explore how challenging it would be for me to take my own photos. Having never been in the sea before I had a lot of concerns and things to learn. I bought a 5mm thick Neoprene wetsuit with hood & boots from my local sports shop, which was great to be able to try on before buying, also a simple pair of goggles and snorkel. Luckily I had an a camera suitable for underwater to practice with (Go pro hero 3)
I chose the beautiful beach of Meal at Burra for my first dip, to even get into the water was the goal. At Meal there is always waves, which became fun but not the best for keeping still to take photos! Delighted with being able to get into the water and not feel cold, I was hooked!
I have experimented with different beaches around Shetland to find the perfect spots for me, always with one eye scanning for the dreded Orca.
Despite growing up and living in Shetland my whole life, I am still in awe at the beauty of our islands. Especially places like Meal beach, Burra, which are really special.
It was very easy to pick a location for my photoshoot, to model my new jewellery collections- Meal beach! It is also 10 minutes from my house the models and the photographers.
The ever-changing weather is always a challenge to arrange anything outside in Shetland, but we were extremely fortunate and the sun came out at the perfect time.
Thank you to Ben Mullay photography for a great day.
Photos coming soon