Down East 2013 ©
Photography by Amy A. Wilton
Jane Moran Porter comes from a long line of Maine islanders. She is a sixth-generation descendant of Little Cranberry’s first permanent settlers, who arrived on the island in 1762. Porter captures much of that history in her sea glass mobiles, which contain beach debris that has washed up on the island for centuries.
In the summer of 1975, Porter and her twin sister opened a gift shop in an old bait shed on the island. Specializing in beachcomber art, her sister made rope bracelets and Porter created sea glass mobiles. Today, Porter owns her own shop in Bar Harbor.
“I collect sea glass for the peace of mind, for such a simple way to be happy,” she says. “I could never tire of the mystery of what I will find in a minute or an hour.
Assembling her sea glass mobiles is a metaphor for her life, she says — working with each unique shard to achieve balance.
How to Make a Sea Glass Mobile or Wind Chime
Fine-gauge, transparent Spiderwire or comparable fishing line (available at fishing suppliers)
Super Glue or any clear, fast-drying glue
Cord for hanging completed mobile
Select desired pieces of sea glass and lay them out approximately as they will hang in the finished mobile.
Cut lengths of Spiderwire twice the desired final length of individual strands of the mobile, plus additional length for later tying the assembled strand to the mobile’s driftwood frame.
Loop the Spiderwire around the first piece of sea glass and tie a square knot. Apply glue to the edge of the shard and the knot, and then tie a second, final knot atop the first.
Work on several strands at once so that each glued knot has time to dry before adding the next piece of sea glass to that strand. Space the glass pieces one to two inches apart.
Continue until all strands are assembled and tied. When all the glued knots have dried, tie ends of strands to driftwood base.