What is bonfire glass?

Bonfire glass

What is bonfire glass?

Bonfire glass or what is sometimes called campfire glass is glass that has been heated so hot that it melts and loses its original shape, forming chunks of pitted glass.

In the old days, old rubbish dumps used to be set on fire and the heat from these fires would melt any glass that was inside it like glass bottles, glass jars etc.

It wasn’t just old rubbish dump sites that were the cause of bonfire glass though, bonfire glass can be created on the beach too, or in any fire for that matter all it takes is someone to throw a glass bottle into a fire and you have bonfire glass.

Sometimes you will find an old bottle that has been heated and lost its shape (some even get completely flattened) but this is because it wasn’t quite hot enough to melt it entirely into bonfire glass.

Bonfire glass
Bonfire glass
Bonfire glass

Why do we find bonfire glass on the beach?

We find bonfire glass on the beach mostly because of coastal rubbish dumps, take Lyme Regis for example, you can find lots of bonfire glass there.

The old rubbish dump is just above the beach at Lyme and when the cliffs erode in bad weather the glass that was turned into bonfire glass in the dump spills onto the beach.

Bonfire glass
Bonfire glass
Bonfire glass

Bonfire glass impurities

While bonfire glass can be frosted like any other piece of seaglass bonfire glass doesn’t quite look like regular seaglass, its usually pitted rather than smooth and it usually has things melted into it like sand or ash, shells, stones and even water droplets.

Anything in the vicinity of the fire would be melted into the bonfire glass, trapping it in its very own glass tomb.

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