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Editors’ Picks: Stories of the Sea

Jul 2, 2013

by Stephanie Madewell 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

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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