Aqua Blue Seaglass Collected in Japan

Aqua Blue Seaglass Collected in Japan

"Man made; Nature Refined", that is the way Christina Sawka describes the beautiful, opulent seaglass treasures she finds along the coastline of Japan. Christina, who lives in Miyagi, Japan, is our number one, all-time favourite collector of the bluey, grey aqua seaglass we love to use in our designs.

aqua blue seaglass gold dics necklace
First and foremost, we love to use seaglass from the collection I have found myself, from beaches across Europe and from Seaham Beach in the Uk. However, now that we are living so far from good seaglass beaches and my collection of extra special pieces is dwindling, we have to turn to other reputable collectors for special colours to use in specific designs. I have been buying glass from Christina for several years now and, eager to know more about her story, I invited Christina to share her love of seaglass. So sit back, pop your feet up and read on :)

Welcome Christina, can you tell us about when you first discovered seaglass?
In 2015, I was at a bazaar (festival/exhibition) here in Japan and I came across a table selling jewellery made from "sea glass". I found it both intriguing and beautiful. The seller started sharing with me all about sea glass. I had never heard of it before.
As a child I loved visiting the beach and collecting shells. But this was a new discovery, and it wasn't until 2015 that I discovered the beauty of sea glass & sea pottery. It quickly became a daily routine (perhaps obsession is more the word...) to run down to my local beach whenever I had a chance and enjoy the new treasures that the sea had to give for that day.

Japanese blue seaglassHa ha, I can totally relate to that! It was about 2009 that I first discovered seaglass on Anglesey in Wales and I too became obsessed overnight! But I knew nothing about these precious gems I had found, how about you?
I started to research more about sea glass and their origins. It was amazing to discover facts about the different colours, the age and original purpose. During my research, I came across a sentence that discussed sea glass as being like a reverse gem where it was originally man made but then refined by nature as opposed to regular gems that are nature made and then refined by man. I loved that idea!
It still continues to amaze me about how something that is thrown away, deemed as garbage, thrashed around in the waves and rocks and then comes out all polished and beautiful. Says a lot about life! I think that is why so many people are drawn to sea glass and sea pottery because it just speaks to the soul and the circumstances that we personally face.

seaglass chandelier earrings kriket broadhurst jewelleryI love the notion of them as 'Reversed Gems', I also loved learning about the origins of the glass and the oxides used to make the colours. My collecting obsession also meant that I ended up with trays and trays of it under my bed :) I realised pretty quickly I needed to do something with it! Can you relate?
My collections were growing fast. I totally had the same issue! Every jar, box and tray was overflowing! One day, my husband quietly said "I think you may be turning into a hoarder..." Ha ha. So in my efforts to look less like a hoarder at home, I started to decorate with my treasures and play with the idea of minimalism art. Simple but beautiful and a whole lot of joy. With lots of interest from others, I started to make different displays on request.
I also started to find pieces that were jewellery grade and just felt that they deserved to be made into pieces of jewellery and shown off. So that was another avenue to keep the collection "under control". I love how such gems can bring so much beauty and happiness.

That is so true, I think so many people can relate to the joy of seaglass, I know we have a lot of customers who like to tell us stories about searching for it when they were younger and collecting it and keeping it in jars on their windowsill.
We only drill our seaglass and rub oil into it for a jewellery designs, do you change your seaglass in any way?
All sea glass and sea pottery found by me is unaltered. It comes in the same state that it was found on the beach except for being gently washed in soapy water. The pieces have not been shaped, smoothed or drilled. All natural.

Aqua and teal seaglass jewleery
Do you know the origins of the pieces you find and how old are the pieces roughly
I find a lot of aqua and teal. These predominately come from glass fishing floats, sake bottles, and vinegar jugs that are unique to Japan. The pieces that I sell for jewellery are very smooth, frosty and rounded which usually means they are anywhere between 40-100+ years old. I have found sea pottery that I have and shown pottery experts here in Japan and they have dated them to be over 100 years old due to the pattern and ink used.

Japanese fishing floats - reverse gem
What is the most favourite piece you have found? Mine is a really large egg shaped piece of champagne pink glass from Seaham Beach.
Oh another hard question!!! I have a "favourites" jar. I cannot pick just one. But I can tell you that I have 2 perfectly shaped hearts, a huge chunky glass float seal, a large bottom of a red perfume bottle, the cutest tiny stopper and and most recently, this large, lolly coloured piece.

purple seaglass Christina SawkaThat certainly is a stunning piece! Is the seaglass you collect becoming harder to find? I know some places are reporting less and less as more and more people hunt for it.
In the past year, I have noticed that there are more people on the beach starting to pick up sea glass! Apparently there was something on television about it last year, and once something gets televised here in Japan, it becomes crazy popular. So it may get more difficult in the coming years but for now there is still plenty of gems popping up.

Japanese beach sunset Christina Sawka
I bet you have your secret, favourite locations, are they safe places to hunt for glass?
I definitely have a "secret" beach! All I'll say is, the more difficult it is to get to a location, the better the glass :-) But always be aware of your surroundings, know your tide charts and wave cycles (and surprise waves!), and don't take unnecessary risks!  

Japanese beach scene winter
It was so great chatting with you Christina and sharing our mutual love of seaglass!
If people are interested to learn more where can they find you?
Ah, Thanks! They can find me on Instagram or Facebook  or if they are interested in my beach combing bags and rulers they can find me here. 
To view Christina's video about Japanese seaglass click here.
And click here to see our collection created with the seaglass we purchase from Christina.

Christina Sawka

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