Spotlight Artisan: Ingrid Lynch
It’s A Wonderful (Second) Life for sea glass
Ingrid Lynch’s upcycled jewelry line merges creativity and coastal beauty.
Six years ago, creative director and designer Ingrid Lynch decided to quit her job at a magazine and pursue an old passion: design and upcycling. That passion became Tossed & Found, her jewelry line consisting of quality handcrafted, beach-forged pieces. Inspired by the waves, sea creatures, and the patterns and textures they create, her pieces are unique and simplistic in design with an emphasis on upcycled materials.
The former magazine editor turned jeweler has been an artist her entire life. Be it through magazine covers or ocean-inspired art, she has always enjoyed the challenge of telling visually creative stories. “I design my jewelry in the same way,” she explains. “I look at each piece of sea glass and come up with unique, simplistic, often ocean-inspired, ways in which to hold the sea glass.”
Ingrid began beachcombing in 2016 along the shores of Hawai’i where she currently lives. “After picking up some sea glass while beachcombing with a friend,” she says, “I was inspired to incorporate it into unique and creative jewelry pieces.” Soon after, she took a few courses at the Honolulu Museum of Art, where she studied metalworking and casting and honed her vision for her line.
“I don’t like waste, so I find ways to upcycle—which makes sea glass the perfect medium for my jewelry. I’ve always been drawn towards the clean lines and simplicity of Swiss design and I also like to pursue different solutions to a situation.”
Living on an island surrounded by beautiful beaches means inspiration is everywhere. Ingrid mainly collects sea glass but often finds interesting shells and sea pottery as well. She is also passionate about doing her part to pick up litter along the way to help keep her beloved beaches clean. Her newest collection pays tribute to the delicate and detailed sea urchins she finds washed up on shore. “I love the patterns that I can create directly from the shells,” she shares.
Between Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island are four of Ingrid’s most frequented beaches, but she admits she is always on the lookout for new spots off the beaten path and the undiscovered treasures they hold. Her most interesting find so far? A small piece of pink sea glass with iridescent markings and a beveled edge, like the remnant of a fancy bottle stopper. There is, however, one thing she’s still combing the sand for: a fully frosted bimal soda bottle. Manufactured from 1851 to 1910 for the Hawaiian marketplace, bimal is an acronym for “blown-in-mold-applied-lip.” This technique resulted in no two bottles being alike, making bimal bottles a top collectible throughout the world. “They’re a beautiful turquoise color when frosted,” says Ingrid.
Today, Ingrid uses a process called lost wax casting to make her jewelry. She creates the original design in wax, forms a cast, then pours a duplicate metal sculpture with either sterling silver or 14k gold to create the raw piece. After much polishing, a unique piece of sea glass is wrapped into the metal and perfected for the final product. Ingrid’s personality and values are reflected in every piece she crafts. Learn more about the lost wax casting process.
When Ingrid isn’t creating jewelry, she loves beachcombing with her mom and friends throughout the week. Other favorite activities include packing oceanside picnics and enjoying a refreshing cocktail in the shallows. While Oahu is her go-to spot, sea glass, shells, and pottery can be found on any of the Hawaiian Islands. Whichever beach you choose, she advises going at low tide and arriving early to beat the crowds. Ingrid’s suggestions for fun activities outside of beachcombing include hiking to one of many panoramic views, snorkeling Hanauma Bay or Shark’s Cove, and exploring the Na Pali coast by car, boat, or even helicopter. “No matter how you see it,” states Ingrid, “the Na Pali coast is truly a magnificent and awe-inspiring sight!”
Learn more at www.tossedfoundjewelry.com and on Facebook and Instagram @tossedfoundjewelry.
This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine September/October 2022 issue.