Serious Beach Vibes: How we transform recycled bottles into sea glass jewelry

I have had a long love affair with the ocean. I grew up on the Pacific, and have traveled the world visiting different beaches, exploring different kinds of sand, different wave patterns, but all the places have one thing in common: sea glass.

Smart Glass Jewelry - Sea Glass

The Magic of Beach Combing for Sea Glass  

It never gets old, long slow beach combing walks looking for small treasures delivered by water and sand to my feet. I have bags of sea glass I’ve collected over the years. The collection of these small treasures is what ultimately inspired our Sea Glass Collection and unique recycled glass matte finish process. First, I had to find out how to give the recycled glass pieces we create in the studio that sea glass look.

Creating a 'Faux Ocean': How we found the right Sea Glass Technique 

There are a few ways to create a sea glass look in the studio, but I wanted to try to replicate the real thing as close as possible. I started with sand and water… in a commercial grade cement mixer.

It took a bit to find the right kind of sand, and the right kind of mixer, but after a while my “faux ocean” or “fauxen” as I like to call it, could produce a sea glass style finish in about 7 days of constant churning. To my surprise the process and the matte finish made the bottle glass colors pop even more, adding both a softness and intensity to the glass.

Transforming Recycled Bottles Into Magic: Our Sea Glass Process

1. First, we cut the bottles into circles.


2. Small circle pieces get fired in the kilns. This is the same process we use for all our glass.

3. And then behold, the magic “fauxen” where the glossy glass is transformed into studio made sea glass….

Sea glass: The perfect summer accessory?

IMHO these are the perfect pieces to enjoy this summer, and each time you wear them you will be reminded of those long beach walks sprinkled with treasures from the sea.


Your summer jewelry is ready… are you? Shop our Sea Glass Collection or share your favorite outfit with your sea glass accessory with us on Instagram.



Smart Glass Jewelry is an artist's studio based out of Atlanta, Georgia specializing in upcycling post-consumer glass bottles into wearable, beautiful jewelry. Smart Glass Jewelry reclaims glass beer, wine, saki, vodka, whiskey and gin bottles to create their colorful and sustainable designs. 


Kathleen Plate is the talented artist behind Smart Glass Jewelry. Born and raised in Cathlamet, a small town in Washington State, her small-town roots are evident in her minimalist, “keep it simple” design philosophy. Now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, you’ll find her every day in her studio, tinkering and creating, and hitting the occasional dumpster at night.