A Closer Look: Sea Glass on Scottish Shores

Images of Navigator Work around the World

Rosh Clark, at the Portencross beach in Scotland, shows her jewelry made of sea glass.

Rosh Clark, at the Portencross beach in Scotland, shows her jewelry made of sea glass.

Along many windswept shores of Scotland, a young Navigator woman, Rosh Clark, spends hours searching for shards of “sea glass,” fragments of broken glass and pottery that have been shaped by ocean tides and sand.

“The pieces of sea glass . . . rarely resemble what they once were,” Rosh said. “From the abrading power of sea and sand, they have become smoothed and shaped uniquely to become something new. Each piece is entirely rare, unique, and invaluable as it has had its own journey and will never exactly resemble another piece as a result. Nor should it.”

Upon finding the sea glass, which she has discovered on more than 50 Scottish beaches since 2014, Rosh takes the shards back to her Glasgow studio where she adds a little oil to bring out the colors and to transform them into hand-crafted jewelry.

For Rosh, taking what is broken and lost at sea and making it into something beautiful and valuable is like what God does with people.

“It points to a hope for all of us, that even in our brokenness we are searched for and found,” says Rosh. “Our rough places are smoothed. We are not hidden in shame, but cherished as something new . . . as treasure.”

Rosh has spent five years with the Navigator student ministry in Glasgow, where she is now pioneering a new effort. She has also been developing her jewelry business, called Róis Scottish Sea Glass (www.byrois.etsy.com), for the past two years. The profitable business gives her natural opportunities to influence the women who work with her and come to her workshops.

In recent years, Rosh has developed a partnership with Samaritana, a ministry that rescues and restores trafficked women in the Philippines. Some of the rescued women also use sea glass to make jewelry. Rosh plans to lead a group of students from Glasgow University to the Philippines next summer.