Not only is sea glass an exciting treasure to find…it’s how Abi Dillon makes a living on the Dingle Peninsula. She has lived in Dingle for 15 years and after spending a decade working in pubs and restaurants to support herself, she took a leap of faith with her crafts. And that sea glass she loved collecting became her future here.
Sometimes you have to be able to see when opportunity is knocking. And open the door…or in her case, the shop.
“I looked at all the crafts I was into at the time and asked myself what is it I love the most? And it was the sea glass.,” she tells me.
She says that each piece is like a tiny mystery, you wonder if it was a vase, or a bottle and where it’s from and where it’s been. Who used it? And when?
“Seriously some of the pieces of glass I have found are hundreds of years old. For hundreds of years they have been tumbling around in the sea. And they are so smooth to the touch. Each one is a treasure.”
Her studio reflects her views on the sea. Her work area is a carpet of sand where she can just kick off her flip flops and work her toes as she works with her glass. One corner of her shop is covered with pebbles to walk on and filled with art made from plastics which are far too common the beaches now.
“These are bullet casings,” she says holding up a mobile made of driftwood with colored plastic tubes hanging from it. They are nestled among shelves of other art incorporating natural beach waste with plastics she’s found a way to use.
“I wanted to pick this stuff up to get if off the beach of course, then I decided to use it in my art to be able to generate money and conversation on the problem. It gets people talking and that raises awareness. It’s just a small way I can help with such a big problem.”
The Sea Glass Studio is in Dingle, it’s the only one of its kind in a town that celebrates the beach and celebrates art of all kinds. If you stop in, check out her take on the beach, and ask her about swimming with the Dingle Dolphin, Fungie. (another story for another post!)
A few tips for finding sea glass, Abi says:
Look for a beach that’s not too sandy and not too rocky, but where pebbles collect.
Don’t be afraid to dig a bit in the sand to see what’s just beneath he surface.
And go at low tide…it gives you more area to search.
You can hear her story in her own words here:
You can find her website here:https://www.abidillon.com/