Sometimes we find absolutely stunning pieces of glass everywhere, when we go to our favourite seaglass beach and on other days we might only find a couple of amazing gems.
Yesterday evening we paddled around the point, a couple of hours before sunset, to catch the high tide just dropping out. The low sun, combined with the slick wet pebbles, uncovered by the receding crystal clear water, make this the most rewarding time for seaglass hunting. The seaglass glistens wet as the sunlight reflects the bright colours, making the search that much easier.
The sun was still warm as we walked along the tide line. The waves tumbled and washed the pebbles up the beach. These soft and well rounded stones are formed from the pieces eroded from the high cliffs surrounding the bay. Combe Martin Slates are part of the local Ilfracombe Slates formation laid down as silkstone, sandstone and some limestone during the Devonian Period, some 300 million years ago. These dark grey and brown slatey sandstones also have white and pink veins of quartz running through, making some of the smooth pebbles, now being washed on the beach, seem as if they have been cut in half and re-glued with a creamy filling.
Lying amongst this grey, brown, pink and white shingle, also being washed and tumbled together as the waves pound the beach, pieces of glass and pottery are being rounded smooth. Over the years this glass and porcelain will be ground down, back into the sand and clay it originally came from, as a part of the endless rock cycle again. We feel privileged to preserve some of this cycle in jewellery, albeit for a relatively minute period of the process.