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Monday, February 18, 2013

February 2013 Sea Glass Auctions

The February 2013 Sea Glass Auction is now running and accessible to be viewed on eBay.

Once a month, I offer some of my recent beach combings for sale at auction. Because I often-- especially during the spring and summer-- am on the beach up to 15+ days a month, I do tend to end up with more nice quality sea glass than I need for my own collection and projects. It seems only reasonable to me to help it find "new homes" with fellow sea glass enthusiasts, jewelers, artists and crafts people. During some periods of the year, these offerings are fairly modest; at others they are fairly impressive.

This month's offerings consist of 90 new auction listings with sea glass and beach pottery which went "live" on Sunday evening, February 17th. There's a broad mixture of "jewelry lots" as well as better individual pieces and rarities for collectors. There's a particularly nice selection of the popular blue shades, this month.

Click on the link below to see the current selection!

February Auctions: Bid until Sunday, February 24th at 7:00pm Pacific/10:00 Eastern

A sampling of lots that are part of the February 2013 auctions

All auctions were listed more or less "together" so as to end at approximately the same time. I do this in order for the "save on shipping when buying multiple items" option to actually makes sense. I find few things more annoying than eBay sellers who offer "discounted shipping," but never have more than 7 (often unrelated!) items for sale.

The "ending times" happen on Sunday, February 24th at 7:00pm Pacific/10:00pm Eastern time. Closing times for lots are spaced roughly one minute apart, to accommodate those who enjoy "live bidding" on sequential lots.

There is a "buy it now" option with all lots, but please keep in mind that this option does go away the moment someone places a bid.

As stated above, "combined shipping" is available. In spite of eBay's new rules for "trackable shipment," I still only charge $2.95 (in the US) for the first lot and $0.75 for each additional lot. That covers (barely!) the $2.07 for a first class parcel + $0.90 for delivery confirmation, which is now more or less a REQUIREMENT when you sell on eBay.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Odd bits: Doorknobs, drawer pulls, knops and more

Even after 40+ years of beach combing and looking for sea glass, I continue to approach-- and appreciate-- each trip to the beach with child-like enthusiasm.

I still feel happy every time I find even something relatively common... in an unusual shape, or perfect condition, or deeper-than-usual color.

This used to be a drawer pull or cabinet knob
Of course, "odd bits" offer a particular thrill-- in part because of the rarity factor, in part because of the fun of going "What IS that???" and then figuring it out.

I live in a small seaside city of some 10,000 people. What makes beach combing here interesting is that this was a thriving community in the mid- to late 1800s, and 100's of fine old homes were built here, on the expectation that this would become "The San Francisco of the North."

Alas, that never happened-- for a couple of reasons; one being an adequate natural water supply to support the growing population, the other being a decision by the railroad companies not to extend the lines here... and without rail transport to hand shipping cargo, the dreams of a major seaport were dashed.

How does this relate to beach combing?

Many of the old houses fell into disrepair. Some became so derelict they were torn down for safety reasons (in the 1930's to 1950's)... and the debris was bulldozed into the ocean; basically "thrown over the edge" of seaside escarpments to be taken away by the tides. Contained in that debris were the fixtures used in bygone eras in nice houses: glass and porcelain doorknobs, drawer pulls, chandeliers and more. And, in time, they became a very special form of sea glass.

A conical drawer pull-- the "inside" is hollow, for the attachment
Over the years, I have found a wide range of unusual artifacts around here. I have beach combed in many different places around the US and the world... and whereas I may have found tens of thousands of pieces of glass there, this is the first time I have lived in a place where it was possibly to find the sea polished remains of old building debris.

I find at least a couple of glass doorknobs, every year. They are not as interesting, visually, as they tend to have worn down to where they are just very large, very thick circular pieces of sea glass, sometimes with one side (the side that would have face inwards, towards the door) flat or slightly concave. The cabinet knobs and drawer pulls are more interesting-- a lot more variety of shape and size. Old crystals from chandeliers are relatively rare-- they were usually made of lead crystal, which is relatively soft... and tends to wear away much faster in the ocean. I can usually recognize them by the "teardrop" shape and the glass being uncommonly "white" in appearance.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"Show and Tell" for Adults

Keeping a beach combing and sea glass blog is an interesting proposition. After all... what do you write about, aside from going to the beach, and then sharing pictures of the things you find?

As I sat here contemplating "what to write about," I realized how much beach combing-- and particularly the process of sharing our experiences as sea glass enthusiasts-- basically amounts to "show and tell for adults." Which is not to disregard the fact that there are also kids and teens who beach comb.

But think about it: We go treasure hunting, find stuff, take pictures of it... and then post it to our blogs, Internet groups and more.

Of course, I feel far more enthusiastic about this type of show and tell than I ever did about those projects back in grade school. I guess my dislike of those had to do largely with the fact that what I got to "show" was rarely anything of my choice, but instead some fixed assignment I had little to no interest in.

I like the fact that so much sea glass has a "story." Take, for example, this large piece of green sea glass in the picture. It's so much more than just "green sea glass." This particular blue-green shade is quite uncommon-- it accounts for less than 1-in-100 pieces of "green" I find. Typically, it comes from very old wine bottles, many from the early 1900's. I sometimes call this color "deep grayish teal green." Finding pieces in perfect condition is difficult-- the manufacturing methods were often crude and the glass poorly annealed (the slow cooling process for glass), as a result of which most large pieces tend to "shear" if they bang into something like a rock... OR there are inclusions and bubbles in the glass, leading to an uneven surface.

So, to the casual observer, that may look like "just another piece of glass." However, to someone who has collected for a lifetime? This 1 1/2" long piece with perfect frosting IS a minor rarity.

And so... worthy of "show and tell."

About Me

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1960 vintage Danish national now living in the Pacific Northwest... active in the global HSP community; active beach comber and sea glass collector; lifetime collector of postage stamps from Scandinavia; writer and consultant, primarily to the metaphysics and self-help industries, writer at OM Times magazine; artist who doodles on rocks; eBay & Etsy entrepreneur and studio and production assistant at Radio Nahmaste.

Diverse enough for you?