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Aberdeenshire-based Kerry de Jager creates stunning sea glass jewellery

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Kerry de Jager’s love affair with sea glass started when she collected her first piece on the shores of Catterline many years ago.

And having found herself with – quite literally – more time on her hands during the first lockdown, Kerry decided to learn how to make jewellery so she could turn colourful sea glass into eye-catching rings.

Kerry said: “I have been collecting sea glass for years and have jars full of different colours, shapes and sizes.

“There is something magical about picking up a perfect piece smoothed by the ocean.

“The perfect piece truly does look like a gem and finding it glistening on the beach is a glorious find.”

The talented silversmith said coronavirus was a “blessing in disguise” for her.

“My husband paid for a jewellery course for my birthday and not long after that, I set up a studio in our back garden,” said Kerry.

“And when I went on furlough, I finally had the time to design some jewellery.

“Friends and family loved what I made and encouraged me to launch a range.

“So I launched Shoreline Jewellery during the UK’s first lockdown as I finally had the time that I always needed to launch.

“I certainly did not spend my furlough curled up on the couch watching Netflix – although that was definitely second on my list of things to do.”

Kerry, who studied graphic design, currently works for a company which provides survey and positioning services to the oil and gas and offshore renewable energy sectors and creates jewellery in her free time.

Offering necklaces, earrings, rings and bangles, all of Kerry’s jewellery features sea glass found on the beautiful shorelines of Scotland.

Describing her jewellery style as “natural, casual and minimalistic”, it’s no surprise the gifted maker is significantly influenced by the sea and other natural elements.

“I am always beachcombing, picking up driftwood and perfectly smoothed pebbles or foraging in the woods – picking up pinecones and admiring how the moss grows on rocks and fallen down logs,” said Kerry.

The creative thinks a lot of locals like collecting sea glass because it’s “restorative”. For her, it evokes memories of seaside holidays she spent with her loved ones.

“Like us, each piece of sea glass has a story to tell,” said Kerry.

“It’s been tossed around by the sea for decades, knocking all the sharp edges off and creating something beautiful and polished.

“Each piece is unique – hold it up to the light and you will see it glow.

“The different colours tell of the history of the sea glass.

“Whites, blues and greens were probably once part of ink, wine or ale bottles and rarer purples and pinks are from old medicinal bottles.”

Kerry also believes sea glass represents that time heals and restores – what was once broken or discarded can now be valued and loved.

She added: “I think that especially this last year, people have been through some tough times and yet we will come out the other side shining.”

Kerry takes real pleasure in collecting sea glass and then upcycling it into a beautiful, functional piece of jewellery in her garden studio in Stonehaven. She also uses recyclable packaging to make her business even more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Shoreline Jewellery pieces are easy to wear and look spectacular when they catch the light. With necklaces and earrings being Kerry’s best-sellers, the maker said she received a few requests to make personalised jewellery.

While requests for engraving and certain colours are quite common in the jewellery business, Kerry is often asked to create personalised jewellery from sea glass found on particular beaches in Scotland.

“I have beachcombed from the east coast to the west coast of Scotland so I can often meet these requests,” said Kerry.

“I enjoy the process and love having conversations about particular pieces with my customers – it feels personal.

“I am protective over my sea glass finds and love sending them off to their ‘new’ home.

“My customers are lovers of sea glass, so they appreciate the beauty in each piece.

“I find that people love to have a little bit of the sea with them.

“There is beauty in a piece of sea glass that is hard to explain.”

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