Monday, March 12, 2012

History is Translucent with House of Z

Over the holidays, my younger cousin came to visit from England. I don't get the opportunity to see her very much, so I wanted to give her something really special to hold on to from our visit, something that would be uniquely Brooklyn. When I came upon House of Z sea glass jewelry, I looked no further! House of Z by Amy Burchenal collects sea glass from the shorelines of New York and takes the weathered antiques and turns them into beautiful, wearable art.

Kelly Green Sea Glass Earrings, Oxidized Copper Findings

House of Z sea glass jewelry is lovely and delicate, and best of all, each piece tells it's own story. Sea glass is made from discarded glass that tumbles around the oceans for at least 40-60 years. Fascinatingly, according to HofZ you can approximately date sea glass by its color. Because certain types of glass were only manufactured during certain eras, you can get a sense of time and place. For example, according to HofZ the Rare Purple and Light Green Sea Glass necklace below has to be at least 100 years old, given that manganese (the type of glass that turns a light purple color) was no longer manufactured after 1915. It's literally like wearing a bit of history! 

Rare Purple and Light Green Genuine Sea Glass on a Sterling Silver Chain

It's fun to imagine what the former life of each glass piece might have been, and HofZ does a very good job of passing on everything they know about each piece of glass. This multi-hued necklace below has a number of different glass stories all in one strand. Evidently, the Citron Yellow piece in the middle is only found in 1 of 500 pieces of sea glass and is usually from ink bottles.

Sea Glass Necklace, with Rare Citron Yellow, Blue and Green, 
Two Tier Oxidized Copper Chain

This ring probably started out as a canning jar or medicine bottle around the turn of the century. Now it's a lovely conversation piece that would light up any outfit. Can't you see wearing it with a light, summer dress?

Sea Glass Ring, Soft Blue on Sterling Silver Wire

Get to know House of Z's jewelry at their Etsy Shop! The prices are quite reasonable, and the workmanship is really exquisite. They even have really cool sea glass kaleidoscopes that you don't need to be a kid to enjoy. In fact, I actually bought one back in December that I meant to give as a child's gift, but selfishly I couldn't let it go. I love looking through the finder now and again at the gorgeous dancing glass.

Sea Glass Kaleidoscope

Make sure you also explore the House of Z main site, you'll find lots more interesting art projects by Amy Burchenal: her Black and White photography, her poetry, and then some. She's quite a talented lady!

Photo by Amy Burchenal

Do you have any favorite pieces? Or maybe you have some sea glass stories of your own? Feel free to share!

*All photos were taken from House of Z website, Etsy page, and Amy Burchenal photography website.

No comments:

Post a Comment