'Tiny pieces of treasure tumbled by each wave, from mythical shores afar to our Whitstable bay'
We moved to the seaside town of Whitstable over a decade ago and ever since our relocation we’ve spent many days enjoying our lovely pebbly beaches. It’s been a sanctuary during the lockdown period, and we’ve found ourselves scouring the beaches for treasures like sea glass as we walk the dog. I love the idea that these colourful treasures could have come from anywhere, been a part of something really obscure and after years of tumbling it finishes its ocean voyage onto our local shores.
I had seen a few pieces being made into jewellery previously and I wanted to practice making jump rings, which are used for most pieces of jewellery, and get familiar with techniques in how to use a pendant motor. Therefore, after an afternoon of research and quizzing my dad on how well he expected glass to cope under easy silver soldering temperature, I decided to begin making small and large sea glass charms to go into our redecorated harbour shop.
From my research I discovered that the friction from diamond drilling risks the sea glass shattering because of the temperature it could reach, therefore the glass is required to be submerged in water to keep it at a constant low temperature. Additionally, because of the temperature risk I decided to begin making them with our new arc welder to join the jump rings, as it uses an electrode to join all types of metal without heating the surrounding materials too much. However, after making a few over the last few weeks I’ve begun to solder them with the normal micro welder torch whilst being mindful about not heating the glass.
After a little bit of trial and error, we now have a new sea glass range in the hut, with hopes to make earrings and play around with different compositions and styles to create some really exclusive one-off pieces sourced from our local coastline.
Megan, the middle daughter of Stephen Randall, who has joined him in the workshop to follow a career in Jewellery Making and Silversmithing