Seaglass Hunting & Picture Making

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Kirsten Harford
19 June 2023

Cornwall’s beaches and shorelines are a treasure trove of shells, seaweed and wildlife but there’s one gem often found amongst the sand and shale that sparkles more than the rest: sea glass. These smooth frosted remnants of glass have been transformed by the relentless power of the sea and with an array of colours to find, it’s a wonderful activity to do with the children. In this Journal article, we delve into the joy of exploring Cornwall’s shores, sharing tips and insights on how to make the most of sea glass hunting expeditions with little ones, as well as how to craft your first sea glass masterpiece.

Preparing For The Adventure

Before setting out on your sea glass foraging expedition, it’s essential to go prepared. Here are are few tips –

  1. Choose Your Beach – there are many that are known for their sea glass abundance such as Porthpean, but nearly all beaches will have some!
  2. Check The Tide – plan to go an hour after high tide or at very low tide – this is when the tideline reveals the most treasures
  3. Pack A Bucket or A Bag – you’ll need a safe place for all your foraged sea glass

Tips & Tricks

  1. Walk In A Zig Zag – don’t walk in a straight line, you won’t cover as much of the beach and might miss some exciting finds
  2. Walk With The Sun Behind Your Back – walking with the sun behind your back allows you to spot the glass more easily
  3. Focus Ahead, Not Down – rather than looking straight down at the sand closest to your feet, keep your eyes focused a few feet ahead of your path

Creating Sea Glass Art

Once you’ve found some pretty pieces of sea glass, it’s time to extend the adventure beyond the beach by transforming the collected pieces into beautiful art at home. Creating sea glass art with children is a wonderful way to unleash their creativity whilst showcasing the beauty of their beachcombing treasures. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making sea glass art at home with children:

Materials Needed:

  1. Sea glass – gather your collection in various shapes, sizes and colours
  2. Picture frames of shadow boxes – choose frames or boxes in different sizes to accommodate your designs
  3. Glue – opt for a strong adhesive or a hot glue gun (adult supervision required)
  4. Pencils – to mark out your design
  5. Optional Embellishments – twigs, shells, small pebbles or beads can complement the sea glass art

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Design Planning – decide what you’re going to create, from patterns to animals to trees to hearts. Let your imagination take the lead.
  2. Arrange The Sea Glass – without gluing, arrange the sea glass to suit your design, once happy, it’s time to move on to the glue!
  3. Start gluing each piece to your frame or backing board
  4. Optional Embellishments – for an extra touch of creativity, consider adding other beach items such as shells, driftwood, twigs, pebbles etc.
  5. Lastly, display in your home! Whether you hang your creation on the wall, display them on the shelf or put them on the kitchen fridge they make a wonderful addition to any home!

Happy sea glass hunting and artwork making!

Sea Glass Art Ideas

Let get creative with sea glass. Use this as inspiration for your sea glass art!

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