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Beach Glass Made By the World's Largest Tumbler

Growing up in Hawaii, it seemed natural to collect sea glass as a child! The colorful pieces that were once broken bottles and glasses littered the beaches, and the frosty tumbled edges made them a pleasure to pick up and treasure! As I got older and it became popularized in jewelry, these little ocean gems became increasingly difficult to find, especially as the world turned to plastics, aluminum, and recycling. Now it feels like finding a rare gemstone!

When traveling to Northern Canada years ago, Jason and I met a couple that sold tiny pieces of ceramic and glass that were once dishes or pottery, that made their way across the ocean from European countries! As I picked out little blue and white “sea glass pottery” and ceramic pieces, I was so enchanted by the idea of these dishes sailing across the ocean, and somehow, perhaps hundreds of years later ending up in my hands.

It can take up to 50 years for a broken piece of glass to get tumbled smooth by the sand, waves, and current. Thanks to electricity and rubber containers, we’ve learned how to reproduce the HUGE ocean’s tumbler technique - using our smaller tumblers with combinations of sand, grit and other media to get the same effect on gemstones and we love it!!

Want to learn more about sea glass? Check out the North American Sea Glass Association!

Technique Note: Beach glass is simple to drill thru with patience, a flex shaft and a core bit drill.  See us do it here with the tools we sell and use in the store!

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