Photography by Celia Pearson
Sea Glass Publishing, 2004
This definitive reference for beachcombers is also a beautiful addition to any coffee table. Pure Sea Glass surveys the history of glass manufacturing, explains the weathering process that creates frosted gems from fragile shards, and offers tips on how and where to find the best pieces. More than 200 exquisite photographs bring to light the luminous beauty of sea glass.
This lovely hardback book was included in a beach condo that hubby and I rented earlier this year. One afternoon, with sunlight filtering through palms and sand at my feet, I immersed myself in the minute world of sea glass.
Richard LaMotte’s extensive research and enthusiasm for sea glass are a treat for readers and beachcombers. Celia Pearson’s photography captures each piece of glass in a timeless moment. The result is a beautiful, informative catalog sorting sea glass by color, original product type, and time travel. Readers will come away as more-than-casual experts on sea glass. We learn the anatomy of glass bottles from the beginning of their existence, how to identify and date glass pieces, and the causes of specific shapes and cracks.
I found the section on bonfire glass, which is fee-form molten glass that includes specks of sand and ash, especially interesting. For one thing, I now recognize that most of the pieces in my own small collection are bonfire glass. For another, the lifespan of bonfire glass is worth considering. At its creation, glass is formed into an ideal shape and color by intense heat. Through use and time, the glass breaks, landing in the ocean or on the beach. When the pieces—now worn, re-shaped, and scarred—are again subjected to fire, they reinvent themselves. Then, they are left to the movements of time and tide—unless someone comes along and recognizes their worth.
I think that bonfire glass must represent something significant in life—but what? Do you have a sea glass collection, reader? Could your bonfire glass pieces be symbolic?