Thanks for visiting! I have included information on drilling seaglass, ideas and designs on seaglass jewelry, my collection and beachcombing trips, and much much more! Take your time and enjoying browsing!

Search This Blog

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The story of August

Seaglass multies that looked like colorfully dressed people here, flocking towards a majestic castle in the distance! This picture of 'seaglass pilgrimage' was in my mind for weeks before it was finally put into reality. In crowded Hong Kong, it was never easy to find a deserted beach in the middle of summer - unless early in the morning. So I was there before sunrise. When I've finished making the sand castle setting up the seaglass, people just started arriving.
I sprayed the seaglass to make their colors more vivid. Then I lied flat on my stomach, assumed the crab's eye view, which I think is the best angle for capturing seaglass's beauty.
But things never went that smoothly! Though it was just morning, the sun was already fiery hot. The seaglass quickly dried up, their colors dulled. I got up, sprayed, went back to my spot on the ground just to discover some seaglass 'people' has been knocked down. I got up, helped the seaglass on their feet, sprayed and back to shooting. My routine for the next half hour was - get up, replace seaglass, spray, lie down, shoot. Finally there were so many people around, amused and wondered what this frentic woman was doing, taking up precious sun-tanning ground. I just had to leave. So I calmly gathered up my seaglass treasures and spray bottle, leaving the sand castle to the delighted kids.

On my way back, I met a crab. It was stunned by my huge presence, and played dead in its track. In slow motion, I knelt down, offered it my best piece of red and clicked away. A few moments later, it gathered up courage and scurried off. It was so sweet of him to pose especially for me!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The story of July

This is my all time favorite photo, I hope it'll be yours too!
Last August, I took a day off from work with the sole purpose of doing some seaglass photography at my favorite beach. I had hoped for a sunny day, but woke up to grey skies. I had second thoughts about doing indoors photography instead, but went out anyway.
When I arrived at the beach, the tide was high and still rising, waves were crashing and clouds were heavy with rain. As the waves started to engulf the wooden planks that I've set my props, I realized they would make a more dynamic background!
Right after this picture was shot, one of the multies started rolling away, but I managed to snatched it back!

The story of June

It's easy to understand the message of this photo - contrasting rainbow with a black and white rainy background - 'sadness will be over, there's always better days ahead'. This belief kept me going during some of the worst days of my life.
In the photo, there's four interwoven layers, each representing different moments I've experienced.  A rainbow of seaglass in the top layer,  a melancholic black & white photo in the middle layer, and a black mirror surface with reflections of trees in the bottom layer. The fourth layer - raindrops - interconnected all the other layers.
The B&W photo was taken on the way to visit my mother in the hospital, where I stayed 8 hours everyday for weeks. It was the coldest winter month, the snow and leafless trees made me feel even more lonely and helpless.
She didn't make it.
Months after, I was still overwhelmed with guilt, sadness and tears. I represented these emotions by the black mirror, shady branches and raindrops.
Seaglass. These priceless gems were once broken shards, polished by time and tide. I too will be stronger and better with every hardship I went through.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The story for May

One sunny August Saturday in 2012, I brought some of my best blue-green seaglass and some seashells to a nearby beach for a photo shot. I had this picture in my mind of a cupped hand with seaglass and seashells in it, the golden beach and turquoise sea in the background.
I held the camera in my left hand, and tried to shoot my gracefully cupped right hand with the seaglass and seashells in it. I twisted and turned my arm around, my back and neck craned to extreme angles, while sweating profusely in the sun. However hard I tried, I just couldn't get it right. My hand looked cramped and unnatural, the sea looked more turbid than turquoise, and garbage on the shore looked more conspicuous than ever.  I realized it's an impossible feat unless I have a tripod for my camera, or a model to pose for me.
Then my stomach rumbled and my thirst has become unbearable. It's time for home, or at least, a lunch break.
So I headed back, and on my way, passed a rocky part of that beach.  There was a small stretch of sand surrounded by large rocks. I thought, no harm trying again, this time, without my hand? I placed my best gems on the sand, and lying flat in front of it, assumed the 'crab's eye perspective'. The picture turned out so nice that it became the cover photo for the calendar!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The story of April

This is one of my favorite. Everytime I see this photo I laugh silently at myself, remembering how clumsy and funny I must have looked during the shooting.
The ballerina's leg is not from a plastic doll, it's the tip of an ancient, eroded conch shell! I found it on a beach right behind a famous local seafood spot. This tiny beach is literally covered with tons of shells from oysters, clams and conch.
The graceful ballerina is tip-toeing through a maze of pastel gems, floating on quicksilver...actually it's a mirror with seaglass scattered all over, me steadying the 'ballerina' with one hand, clicking the camera with the other. And I'll tell you, that's no easy job!
Most of the time, and this time as well, my 'photo studio' happened to be the extra-wide 2.5 feet window pane in my living room. I started off with a small mirror, but quickly realized that I need something much bigger to cover the whole background. I ended up taking the wall mirror off my dressing room. This mirror is 2x5 feet. In order to catch the sunlight at the right angle, it has to be placed across the window pane, so half of it just hanged off the edge!
I set up everything, precariously balancing the overhanging half of the mirror on my knee, scattered seaglass all over the mirror, held the conch tip in place, while squatting with my camera to take in everything at the best angle. Alas, the mirror surface is so smooth that the 'ballerina' kept slipping, the mirror kept tipping over, throwing seaglass all over the place! Patiently I picked up everything, set them up again and repeat.
I don't know how many times that slipping, tipping and scattering happened, but I knew I was sweating like mad from the crazy balancing act! All the while I kept telling myself to get better props and try again some other day. Yet the optimmist in me cooed, 'give it one more try, it'll be perfect this time'. I don't know why I hadn't thought of using a camera stand in the first place!
Gradually, the sunlight changed its angle and no longer worked, so I just have to stop. I uploaded the 50 plus shots on my computer and looked through them closely. Gladly, at least a few looked close to what I have in mind. I smiled with satisfaction and lied on the floor, massaging my sore back.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The story behind my seaglass calendar photo for March

March is almost over now, I'll have to catch up with my post this month!
What does a bunch of turquoise gems, rusted key and coins on rotted wood make you think of? Pirate's loot and sea adventures! But that was not what I have in mind when these blue-green seaglass and pottery were selected to go with verdigris speckled beach coins and skeletal key.
One cloudy summer day. I took them to my favorite beach, and laid them on an old wooden log. I've had my eyes on that log for quite some time - dark brown, almost black and covered with holes, quietly rotting away - it's the perfect background for some bric-a-brac with history!
I found all these seaglass, sea pottery and lucky coins from different beachcombing visits, spanning many years. I just could not decide which is my favorite! The milk glass bottle tops are really unique; and I've never seen any other marble with turquoise cat's eye in pale green glass; those large, rounded turquoise gems are my dreams come true...and I'm so luck to have found that many beach coins, even though, except the US penny, all were corroded beyond recognition.
Yet I have to confess - there's one among the collection that was not a beach artefact - the skeletal key. I've bought this antique brass key at a flea market, painted it with verdigris patina and surprised myself with the result. Did I fooled you too?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Story Behind My Seaglass Calendar Photo for February

     Everything white and beautiful, collected one by one with love!  I still remember how each came into my possession.

 The heart shape coral in the center was collected from Okinawa when I visited three years ago. The beach was literally covered with sun-bleached seashells and coral in all sizes and shapes! The oval, fan-shape coral at the top right corner, the small white coral branch at the left lower corner, the clam shell at the right lower corner and the spiral just above it which was the worn-out center of a conch shell - all came from the same Japanese beach.
    Two mini seaglass bottles, a ceramic roller and a ceramic mug handle came from a local beach in Hong Kong. This beach has been a dump-site, and now my favorite place for seaglass hunting.
    Then there were the cut-glass stopper and the porcelain stopper, both given to me by a generous friend from the States. She also sent the tiny sand dollars that I've scattered at the top and lower right. Cute as buttons!
    Most of the seashells were collected locally, except for the Murex shell at the top center. I found it in East Malaysia, when I was still a toddler.
    Who could miss the perfect seaglass eggs, unmistakably English? These were the only ones I've bought - I just couldn't resist, knowing that nothing quite like them exists outside of the UK.

 And don't forget about the sand in the background! These I have collected right beneath the Egyptian pyramids. It was another interesting story, when I travelled the backpackers' way.
   So there you have it, goodies that came from all over the world and spanning a lifetime, gathered in harmony.