Michigan Blue Slag Glass Pendants

Since my sphere machine had been broken for months, I decided to grind out a few Michigan Blue Slag pendants to knock the rust off my bones. These are the results! One of them is available in my Esty shop if interested. The green one is from Escanaba, MI in the upper peninsula, the other three are from South Haven, MI in the lower south western part of Michigan.

Slag Glass Spheres

Here are some pictures of the few spheres I’ve made with slag. Up until about a month ago I was only able to find one piece of slag large enough to make a sphere. Since that time, I’ve found a couple decent pieces. The dark green chunk was the largest. It probly weighed about 7 pounds or so. The dark green is no the prettiest, but I have since found chunks much larger in that color range. The deep blues have been elusive in that size, but the Robin’s egg color one turned out great (at 1.8 inches) as well at the grey/green one (At 1.8 inches).

Blue Slag Glass Hunting In Muskegon, Michigan

We had some unusually warm and sunny weather the last couple days so I decided to take my crew out (my three kids: ages 6-10) to dig for some blue slag glass. Now, in the past I’ve found a ton of blue slag glass washed up on the shores of Lake Michigan. But I got a tip from a new friend on a spot where they used to dump slag over a hundred years ago in Muskegon, MI. For those who don’t know what slag is. Slag glass is the by-product of the iron ore smelting process. In Michigan the smelting was done all up and down the Lake Michigan lake shore and often the slag, considered garbage at the time was dumped into the lake. That all ended around 1890 or so. Today, this slag glass is prized by beachcombers because of the often beautiful colors and variations found. I have found slag that is black, brown, grey, green, yellow, blue and any of those shades in between. I’ve only found one piece large enough to sphere in the past, and have made quite a few nice pendants out of the glass I’ve found.

We made our way to the spot and as soon as we stepped out of the car, we began to see small pieces of the deep forest green slag. We found quite a few large pieces, probly in the 10-30 pound range buried just below the surface. We found one spot in particular and began to dig with much success. Some of the best pieces were found about a foot down. Once we established a good spot we dug around about a six foot radius and found quite a number of stunning pieces. I took some pictures of some of the better looking ones and even took a bunch of macro shots (made by taking a lense from a disposable camera and putting it over my camera’s lense). I think the shots came out decent enough. One day I’ll invest in a nice camera setup so I can take some real professional looking shots. I think some of those macro shots would make some nice abstract art. Oh, and after we got home…it snowed like crazy! I guess we will wait til next year to hit it again. What a great time.