Sea Glass Jewellery

Handmade with Love in East Wittering




What is sea glass?

Its GORGEOUS…! Its treasure…! Its beautiful…! But here’s the science. Sea glass is any glass item which has found its way into the sea, has danced around in the waves for many years and been smoothed by the action of the tides, sand and shingle. If we’re lucky, the tide delivers these wonderful little gems to our shores here in the Witterings. In other words its natures’ brilliant way of dealing with some of our rubbish – and turning it into treasure.

All sea glass is not made equal

But there’s a difference between jewellery-grade and craft-grade sea glass.

Craft-grade is chipped (or nibbled), has little or uneven frosting, is an irregular shape or has no smoothness. Its good for making pictures/art/crafts with.

Jewellery-grade is determined by its smooth shape, roundness on the edges, size and of course the degree of frosting. The thicker the glass and/or the more bubbles or occlusions/inclusions it has, the older it is and therefore the more precious. My favourite pieces are the thick nuggety ones, with an even frost – usually from bottle bottoms. I also love bottle tops and any piece where you get a glimpse of its origins.


Sea glass comes in many colours and some are extremely rare. Here in the witterings, we’ve had a good variety of greens, from lime to moss, kelly green to seafoam. We’ve had amber and brown, aqua and white. Occasionally we’ve had turquoise, cornflower and cobalt (Emile and I call these blue-boys – if I find one, I send him a photo and he sends me a jealous frowny face…) I’ve found a couple of greys, a red, 2 pinks and a yellow. These are very rare and I can’t bring myself to part with them yet…

There’s also tumbled (some call it fake) sea glass which is ordinary glass, broken up and put in a mechanical tumbler for 48hrs. It looks pretty and is even in size, shape and frosting, but for me (and other ‘genuine sea glass’ fans) it has no history or story to tell. Why would someone do that? Well….Sea glass has become increasingly rare over the last decade due to us recycling more (yay) and dumping less glass at sea (conflicted yay). There has also been a surge in people collecting sea glass, so sadly there’s very little left here in the witterings – which makes it all the more precious. Hence many people tumble their glass and mis-label it as sea glass. Buyer beware.

So from Brighton to Swanage, I’ve been collecting sea glass for 25 years – and even though its just been the odd piece here and there – its amounted to a small collection. Making sea glass jewellery means sharing these little gems with others, who can rejoice in its gorgeousnessnessness … and which hopefully will be treasured by you, for years to come.



Shingle Shed
107 Stocks Lane
East Wittering
West Sussex
PO20 8NU

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