How long have you been in business?
I opened my Etsy shop just over a year ago.
When did you start collecting sea treasures?
Treasure hunting started when I was very young, although the types of treasures have changed over the years. Growing up by Lake Michigan gave me the deep love for the beach. My mom had put together a collection of my childhood findings and it consisted of rocks, seedpods, a dried up seahorse, and shells.
After living nearly 20 years in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert moving to the Pacific Northwest was quite a shock! I meet a lovely friend who taught me about sea glass, how to adjust my eyes to ‘see’ it, and that was the beginning of a whole new adventure of treasure collecting!
What is the most unique item you’ve found?
Now that is a hard question… I would have to say, that the most unique oddity I have found on the beach would be false teeth!
How do you part with your treasures?
Funny, I sort all my sea glass by color and it is in various vases, found all over my house. Then I sort out jewelry quality pieces (those are pieces that are flawless; perfectly tumbled, great shape, that inspire me… these are also sorted out by color). Many of those pieces are holding ‘in queue’ and are waiting on my bench for the right design to come and transform them into their new jewelry form.
After having said all that… I have my special pieces, those pieces that are mine. They will stay in my personal collection. I believe that is one of the main reasons why I started purchasing gorgeous sea glass from several collectors worldwide… I buy colorful pieces of genuine sea glass that are unlike any that I can find on my local beaches. Even though they are absolutely unlike anything I can find, I don’t have the emotional attachment that sometimes comes from finding it yourself!
What was the first piece you designed?
I can’t answer that specifically, because I rarely work on just one piece of jewelry at a time. I always have multiple pieces I am working on at any given time! When I started making jewelry, I had a dear friend in Texas that insisted she be the first person to be able to buy and have a necklace. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a cluster necklace with aqua sea glass, pearls, and swarovski crystals.
What new items can we see from you in the future?
My style as a jeweler has been evolving every day. When I first began making sea glass jewelry, I mainly drilled the sea glass carefully under water with diamond coated drill bits. Currently, I focus on doing bezel settings in fine silver. Oftentimes, you can see the influence of my southwest past in my designs. Many times, the designs are simple… It all depends on the piece of sea glass or the client.
This fall, I have many more workshops that I would like to take to expand my array of designs. One of the top classes I am planning for is how to set faceted gem stones. I believe that there is a beautiful juxtaposition between sea glass and cut gem stones.
Where does someone find your beautiful products?
Currently, I have an Etsy store.
We are currently working on a new website
I have a Facebook page that also has a shop now link which takes you to the Etsy store, but within that you can also get glimpses of my found beach treasures.
My Instagram is also SunshinedayDesigns, which is where I post most of my found treasures and my jewelry pieces. It is quite a fun place to go!
Anything else you want to share?
Many times I have been asked… ‘What is Sea Glass?’
Well, once upon a time prized decorative glass, tableware, and a variety of bottles were broken, discarded, and forgotten about. Often this discarded glass ended up being dumped into the ocean (which was the practice for many shoreline towns and cities)… After many decades of tumbling in the sea they have become pitted and frosted, each piece is unique and and tells its own story! Sea glass has a true ‘trash to treasure’ story.
I use only genuine sea glass, because of my love for it and its charming character. There is a difference from glass gems that come from the sea and those pieces that are artificially made. Genuine sea glass is actually considered to be a gem (not to be confused with gem stones, as those are mined from the Earth). Genuine sea glass has it’s own rarity chart and values placed on it due to color, flawless attributes, and size.
Over the past decade there has been a surge of fascination for these sea gems and are becoming increasingly hard to find on many beaches… However, when you find yourself on the beach and are enjoying the views and sounds of the water, take a moment to look down… you might just find a gem of your own!
Thank you Sunny for sharing you beautiful designs and love of the sea with me and my readers!
I have never met Sunny in person but I have been online friends with her for over five or more years. Â We met playing a crazy game we were both addicted to at the time and our friendship evolved from there. Â I personally own three pieces of Sunny’s jewelry including earrings that she made just for me for my wimpy ears and two necklaces.