There is an area of coastline on Maui where, between 100 and 200 years ago, people went to "dispose of" their trash. Some of these areas eroded in a way that the glass, tableware, etc. quickly made its way to the ocean and began its transformation into sea glass. In other areas, the rubbish sat. Storms rolled in, packing the rubbish in with sand, dirt, thick mud and other sediment; grass grew over it and it became its own hillside.
On a hike, one day, I very accidentally discovered one such area. While I generally only search for surf tumbled glass, I found myself equally enamored by this "dump glass." Most of it was broken, but smoothed slightly and patinaed by weather and time. There were some intact bottles, hand painted china and glass in almost every color of the rainbow. Maybe it was just me, but I found it all so beautiful and mysterious.
That was the day the 'Opala Ombre was born. 'Opala is the Hawaiian word for trash, or rubbish...and that is exactly what these suncatchers are made of...centuries old rubbish! What I collected that day, I took home to break up further and then left it for about 4 weeks in a rock tumbler where it was smoothed down and cleaned (these pieces came out of the hillside incredibly dirty!)... literally trash was reborn into treasure!
At the end of each 'Opala Ombre is a surf tumbled Hawaiian shell or crystal. Shells are collected by either myself or family and are always found empty. We never take live shells.
As you scroll through the 'Opala images, you will see the glass as it looks both before and after tumbling. Every piece of glass (and shell) is, of course, different in shape, size, thickness, and therefor no two pieces will ever be the same.
'Opala Ombres (approximately 6 inches long) are 5 pieces of machine tumbled "dump glass" hand strung on durable nylon cord, and weighted at the end with a Hawaiian shell or crystal. At the top, a silver ring allows for easy hanging anywhere you choose. These sun catchers will sparkle brilliantly in bright, indirect, natural light and can be hung inside or outside.
What a beautiful reminder that even broken, discarded, unwanted things can be made beautiful again with a little work and a lot of aloha.