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SUSAN KOCH

 

For award-winning silversmith Susan Koch, summers spent on Galiano Island inspired a lifelong fascination with beach stones and sea glass.

Susan likes to incorporate these elements in her organic sterling silver jewellery. All her pieces are hand-fabricated and as unique as the people who wear them.

Her training in silversmithing has led Susan to Vancouver, Victoria, San Francisco, Seattle, Mendocino, and the mountains of central Mexico.

Susan divides her time between her small farm in the Cowichan Valley, on Vancouver island, and her cottage on Ruxton Island.

SEA GLASS– its origins and colours.
Sea glass is found in an astonishing array of colours ranging from the common to the rare. Sea glass in general is also becoming scarce due to changes in dumping regulations, recycling laws and the increased accessibility of sea glass beaches.
In the last century it was common for coastal communities to dump their garbage off cliffs onto the shore below. Over decades of tumbling in the sand and surf most trash disappeared through decomposition, disintegration, rust, and floating away. Only glass remained, over time being softened and frosted by the continuous action of erosion by the elements. Truly weathered sea glass can take forty or more years to develop.


COMMON COLOURS:

White: -jars, bottles from soda, wine
Brown—bottles from bleach, beer, root beer, whiskey, wine, tonics
Green—bottles from soda pop, beer, wine, olive oil


UNCOMMON COLOURS:

Sea Foam—Coca Cola
Pale Blue—fruit jars, medicine bottles
Amber—spirit bottles, bitters

RARE COLOURS:

Pink—Depression glass
Cobalt and Cornflower—Milk of Magnesia, Noxema, Vicks VapoRub,
Purple—originally white glass but with the presence of manganese in the formula. UV exposure converts the white to lavender and purple. Manganese was eliminated from the glass before WW 1 due to rationing.

EXTREMELY RARE COLOURS:

Orange—carnival glass, fire-king, decorative pieces
Red—tail lights, port lights, Schlitz bottles
Turquoise—tableware, flasks, art glass
Yellow—Depression glass, Vaseline glass, decorative pieces

MARBLES:

Found in old dumpsites from rusted spray paint cans; kids using slingshots to fire marbles at seagulls; or from the hulls of sunken ships where marbles were used as ballast.