I was born in a coastal town and have always loved the ocean, walking on the beach, sailing - almost everything that has to do with the sea. When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me for walks along the coast, especially after a storm, to see what strange and interesting items had washed up on shore. So it is surprising that I have never collected sea glass, until recently that is. I was working on a craft project for a gift and thought that a few pieces of sea glass would make a beautiful and meaningful addition. Once I looked into acquiring the glass my interest peaked. So before I went any further, I bought a copy of Richard LaMotte's renowned book "Pure Sea Glass: Discovering Nature's Vanishing Gems" on the advice of a longtime collector and jewelry maker.
This is an excellent volume, especially for beginners who are interested in learning about, searching for and collecting sea glass. A major added attraction is that there are over 150 exquisite and elegant photographs by Celia Pearson included here, presenting some of the beat specimens ever collected, along with a vast array of classical glassware from around the world that is often its source. The visuals are displayed in a manner that reminds me of Japanese Zen aesthetics. I am not a big coffee table book person, but my copy is on my table and most people who sit in my living room for longer than 15 minutes usually pick it up and peruse with delight.
The book is a comprehensive guide, chock full of information on finding and identifying these gems, the bits of aged glass, enhanced by years beneath the sea or caught in the tides that wash our coasts. There are 224 pages with chapters on the history of sea glass and the history of sand, (fascinating), different types of glass, (bottles, containers, tableware, utility and flat glass, like window glass - plain and stained, marbles, insulators and bonfire glass - from ship and shore, etc.), and appraising rarity, along with many other interesting topics.
So I am hooked. After a recent hurricane I made a day trip to Montauk, NY, and actually found some wonderful pieces on the beach at low tide - one a real jewel!
Mr. LaMotte is a native of southeastern Virginia and now lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He has been collecting for decades. His wife, Nancy, started a sea glass jewelry business using shards from nearby Chesapeake Bay. Ms. Pearson is a professional and fine art photographer with more than 25 years experience.
I recommend this superb book to everyone who appreciates art and finds delight in learning about the unusual. One does not have to be a collector to enjoy "Pure Sea Glass." It also makes a great gift. ENJOY!