Collecting beach treasures with Caroline South

Blogger and Instagrammer Caroline South loves combing beaches for the sea’s bounty

Collection of beach greenery Caroline South for Mollie Makes

“I grew up on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, fields, beaches and forests. I used to spend lots of time with my family walking along local beaches, looking for shells and glass. Now I have a family of my own, my children and I spend time exploring the West Sussex coastline and collecting treasure.

My collection really started when I began finding sea glass. Before this, we’d usually collect natural bits and pieces such as seed pods and feathers that ended up in the bin. But I started keeping hold of the little nuggets of smooth, worn-down sea glass, gradually adding it to a jar of finds.

I love finding rare cobalt blue pieces. I remember finding some on the beach with my grandad as a child. My brighter, striped pieces of glass came from Seaham in Durham. It was once home to a Victorian glass factory, and at the end of each day they’d throw all the waste glass into the sea. Almost a century later, it still washes up.

My photographs of our finds started as a way of documenting them. However, as my collection grew, I was able to play around and start creating more artistic images. My plastic collection started after I brought a few brighter pieces home to mix in with the more natural items I was photographing. I soon realised what unusual plastic treasures could be found – pieces of Lego, monopoly houses, golf tees and cracker toys are easy to find.

It’s made me more aware of the damage plastic does to our beaches. I like to think I’m helping, in a small way, to keep them clean.”

Collection of rainbow beach finds - Caroline South for Mollie Makes Collection of chalk pebbles - Caroline South for Mollie Makes Collection of sea glass clouds - Caroline South for Mollie Makes Collection of sea glass - Caroline South for Mollie Makes

Mollie Makes issue 68 printThis article was originally featured in Mollie Makes 68. Buy a back issue or download it from ZinioGoogle Play or Apple Newsstand.