Friday, November 05, 2010

Ocean Artifacts

This pendant is available here.Let me start by saying that my mother would have kicked me out of the house as a child if I had grown up near the ocean artifact laden beaches of Salem. It's bad enough I had a rock problem (it got so bad they would periodically end up back in the yard...and I'd repick them ;) ). Salem has a rich history; of using it's beaches as the city dump. I hope and assume this is no longer the case, however am grateful that at one point, it was.

It started with beach stones this summer on Marblehead beach. Their ocean polished roundness, speckled patterns, solid black matte stones and quartz drew me in. Steve and I couldn't go to the beach without me taking home at least a couple fistfuls of rocks. I have a rock problem. I admit it. And since this summer was ghastly hot and we have no air can imagine how many times we went to the beach.

Then, in the middle of the summer one day on Artists' Row in Salem, I met Nancy, a beach comber extraordinaire. She brought in a tote filled with glass shards, pottery bits, corroded metal doohickeys and more one afternoon. We dumped it out on the sidewalk and I was hooked. I real live archeological dig (don't remind my mother of my digs in the ravines in our neighborhood growing up. Used as dumps at some point, I unearthed all sorts of curiosities).

Nancy laughed at me because I moved so slow assessing each item trying to determine what it was, how old it might be, how it got to be in the state it was currently found and washed up on the shores of Salem. She kindly let me take a small bag of treasures...which I promptly sorted by color/material and started making into jewelry. This Y necklace is available here.

Then I showed Steve...and we were both hooked. Here are some pictures of one of our beach combing excursions. On this one we unearthed all sorts of oddities. MANY whole bottles, bits of leather (towns surrounding Salem once were home to tanneries), chemistry remnants, melted glass and more. In the early 1900's Salem suffered a large scale fire and dumped the remains of it in the area we were combing.

AND The weirdest find of the day:

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