Iridis Crafts was founded in 2014 after my family and I went on holiday to the North East coast of England. My son loved throwing stones into the sea, so a pebbly beach it had to be! We soon discovered that the beach was scattered with sea glass and collecting it soon became an addictive hobby.
On returning home to Sheffield, I began to sort our treasure into different colours, wondering what I could do with it. That is when I decided to make sea glass pictures.
Over the years the designs have changed a lot to reflect what people want their pictures to depict. High-quality hand-crafted items are now made from sea glass, pebbles, Abalone shell, sea pottery, driftwood and twigs, with a bit of artwork to complete the designs.
Iridis Crafts primarily makes pictures, but also hand-crafted dreamcatchers, sterling silver sea glass and Abalone shell jewellery, keyrings, bookmarks, painted pebble fridge magnets, Christmas decorations and a massive new range of greetings cards (made using the images of the actual pictures that I make).
Iridis Crafts' products are unique and are finished to an extremely high standard. They are perfect presents for those people that have everything!
Custom orders are welcomed and can be personalised to make that extra special unique gift.
The Sea Glass
Most of the sea glass comes from Seaham, County Durham, which is famous for its sea glass. In 1853 John Candlish began his glass producing factory. The bottle workers were a proud little community with their own chapel, living chiefly in four streets near the works.
At its peak it produced 20 million bottles a year. Vast quantities of waste glass were poured into the sea at the end of every day, leading to the coastline of Seaham and the North East Coast of England becoming a rich source of sea glass even today.
Seaham bottles went to all parts of the world. The 'Oakwell' ship would leave Seaham Dock weekly loaded with bottles for Rotherhithe, London. In 1917 she was sunk by a German mine off the North Yorkshire coast.
For more than 100 years the glass has been tumbling in the sea to produce a range of beautiful rounded coloured sea glass. Rarer pieces of multi coloured sea glass can be found which were formed when the waste glass was poured into a vat at the end of every working day. This allowed different colours to mix together. The waste glass was then dumped into the sea. The glass can now be found washed up on the beaches and is called ‘End of Day’ glass.
John Candlish died in 1914 leading to the end of the bottle works. The factory closed down in 1921 and was demolished in the 1950’s.