What is sea pottery? And what makes sea pottery special?

What is sea pottery? And what makes sea pottery special?

What is sea pottery? And what makes sea pottery special?

Have you ever heard of sea pottery? Much like sea glass, sea pottery is just pottery that was thrown into the sea many, many years ago. Imagine this scenario: 

“Once upon a time this piece of porcelain graced the table of some Portuguese family, perhaps it was a modest saucer, or a cherished platter. Later discarded, it tossed around in the surf for decades, breaking and softening on the edges, eventually washing up onto the sand.

Then along came the beachcomber, who elatedly picked it up, took it home, cleaned it and made it into a piece of jewelry for someone in a faraway land to adorn themselves with for all eternity.”

Sea pottery can be from a variety of materials, ceramic, porcelain, terracotta. It can come from dishes, floor or wall tiles, a vase or even a doll.

How long does sea pottery need to be in the ocean to get soft edges?

It depends on the material, but since most pottery is softer than glass, it should take less time to soften the edges of a pottery shard than it would a piece of broken glass. It takes several decades to turn a broken shard of glass and turn it into sea glass. While it could take less time for pottery to become sea pottery, it likely has still taken many years.

Where can you find sea pottery?

Like sea glass, it's good to look in places where people used to throw trash in the ocean. Think of places that have long had civilization and marine traffic. For example, I've found sea pottery on most european beaches I've been to. Typically it's best to look on beaches with pockets of pebbles, as these will hold on to sea pottery and sea glass.

If sea pottery is just glorified garbage, then why is it considered special?

Well, as with sea glass, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sea pottery is probably more rare than sea glass. And in my opinion, it tells more of a story, because the colors and patterns are more unique than just plain glass. It's easy to imagine a family sat around a dinner table with plates and bowls made with that pattern, to think of the stories it could tell, the occasions it has been a part of celebrating.


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