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Editors’ Picks: Stories of the Sea

Jul 2, 2013

by Stephanie Madewell

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” So says Ishmael in Moby Dick, and so says I.

Getting to the sea — the actual sea — can’t always be managed. Berths on ships commanded by mad captains in search of white whales just can’t be found (probably a good thing). But because the sea is threaded through the foundations of human imagination, there are countless vessels waiting to carry you away — poems and epics and memoirs, photographs and paintings and philosophical musings, each capturing and communicating a fragment of sea-magic. Here are ten items from Etsy sellers that each tell their own tale of the sea.

Woodblock print of a wave by Hannah Phelps.

Beachcombing series No. 34: photograph by Jennifer Steen Booher of Quercus Design.

Blue Fish by Skip Nall.

Ocean 7 by Julia Ruess.

Shipwrecked mug by LucindaChips.

Davenport Surf by Marie Cameron.

Curtis Jere 1943 boat sculpture from Anatomy Decor.

Vintage photo of a sailor, ca. 1940s-1950s, from Ms. Jeannie Ology

Wave Meditation I woodblock print by WolfbatStudios.

Shipwrecked clay boat sculpture by Adam Swang.

For more sea-themed finds, check out my Ships + The Sea Favorites list.

Shop Nautical Finds on Etsy

Clipper ship 6 original mixed media collage altered book, print
Clipper ship 6 original mixed media collage altered book, print
$18.00 USD
Maine beachcombing photograph - birch bark, crab, shell, mussel, sea glass, seaglass, sea urchin, seaweed
Maine beachcombing photograph - birch bark, crab, shell, mussel, sea glass, seaglass, sea urchin, seaweed
$30.00 USD
The Wave, rare, OAK, statement piece, full-sized hand-clipped porcelain and ceramic tile large wall mosaic, ocean, blue, 2' x 3'
The Wave, rare, OAK, statement piece, full-sized hand-clipped porcelain and ceramic tile large wall mosaic, ocean, blue, 2' x 3'
Sold
1973 Curtis Jere skeleton boat gold tone metal wire sculpture
1973 Curtis Jere skeleton boat gold tone metal wire sculpture
Sold
Hey There Sailor - Vintage 1940s/1950s Navy Photograph - Handsome Uniformed  Sailor on Ship Ladder, Wintertime Scene
Hey There Sailor - Vintage 1940s/1950s Navy Photograph - Handsome Uniformed Sailor on Ship Ladder, Wintertime Scene
Sold
Ceramic Ship, Ceramic Soda Fired Ship, Pottery Ship Sculpture, "Shipwrecked" by Adam Swang
Ceramic Ship, Ceramic Soda Fired Ship, Pottery Ship Sculpture, "Shipwrecked" by Adam Swang
$3,250.00 USD

2 Featured Comments

  • haruaki

    Tiffany Key from resinjewelryHARUAKI said 6 years ago Featured

    I just moved back to my oceanside hometown after years abroad. It was the water that brought me back here. I see the wide open sea and I feel my crunched up soul unfurling in replication. I truly need the sea in my life.

  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld said 6 years ago Featured

    What i like best about living next to the ocean is that there is nothing between me and the horizon. Just sea meeting sky. I feel that gives a very special perspective.

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