Sea glass secrets…how to gently clean sea glass .
I have a few favourite places that I love to forage for sea glass, particularly those secret little coves, mainly known to locals and a handful of dog owners with their four legged friends. There's something magical about strolling along a seemingly forgotten beach and having a private viewing of nature at its rawest. The absence of beach cafes, defined pathways or signposts and the little coves only visible at low water, make for an exquisite experience to delight the soul and awaken the senses. This is Cornwall, the unadulterated Cornwall that I love and cherish, long after the madness of the holiday season and when the last Cornish pasty has been devoured by the last hungry visitor.
One of my favourite places is only accessible through a tiny wooded track, through an old graveyard and open farmland. Just when you think you cant go any further...there she is...a quiet unassuming gift from nature and a very muddy beach !!!
As magnificent as this little Cornish jewel is, the glass and pottery are dirty and silty, thus making it all the more exciting to rinse at the lapping shoreline, prior to a quick inspection of newly discovered treasure. Like a mirage, what you initially see and what you subsequently discover are sometimes two very different things...but oh the sweet anticipation, now that's priceless!!!
So what is the best way to clean sea glass? There's a wealth of information and advice over the internet, advocating a variety of methods ranging from a quick rinse in hot soapy water to soaking overnight. Neither method seems more superior than the other, judging by the results of my recent efforts.
For me, a quick soak in warm soapy water is sufficient to remove most of the sea residue and any beach debris. I usually pat dry with an old dry, clean towel and store in a box for sorting.
Sometimes I will use the glass in its natural frosted state and sometimes I will rub over lightly with a little olive oil, prior to a quick gentle buff. It really does depend on the glass, the design and the overall effect I want to achieve through my art. Some people swear by baby oil, but I find olive oil works perfectly well, without the strong odours and additional chemicals.
Freshly oiled and buffed sea glass looks beautiful and it really does bring out the natural hues of the glass, which seem to ever so slightly change, depending on the natural dance of the light.
Some folk prefer pearls and diamonds...I'll settle for sea glass any day!!!