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The Collectors: Beach Detritus With Gooseflesh

Apr 22, 2010

by rikrak handmade and vintage goods

Rikrak_bio.jpgI just love seeing what folks are collecting. I guess I feel it tells us just a little bit about what inspires them, what they love, and what they choose to surround themselves with in their homes. Today, I’m delighted to present the next in an ongoing series here on the Etsy Blog: The Collectors. First published on my own little blog, the rikrak studio, it’s 11 and a half quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they’re collecting (apart from their art supplies!).  
To celebrate Earth Day this week, hope you’ll just love this beautiful collection of beach detritus with the wonderful Gooseflesh.


Isn’t Earth Day magical? I think it’s a wonderful time to celebrate the natural beauty of our fabulous planet, and here on Etsy especially, to appreciate the joy and brilliance behind eco-forward, future-friendly handmade thinking: recycling, recrafting, and rescuing objects to make our handmade world a better, more sustainable place!

bio_gooseflesh.jpgSuch is certainly the case with today’s mesmerizing collection of beach detritus with artist Gooseflesh. I’m so struck by the sheer beauty of her seashore findings and the way she’s charmingly crafted pieces of garbage into meaningful art with her collection.

Eco living is true magic, indeed. Here’s to eco artists, our handmade magicians, who celebrate Earth Day, everyday! 
Who (are you): Helle Jorgensen, a.k.a. Gooseflesh

What (are you collecting): Beach Detritus: driftwood, sponges, shells, bones, shark egg cases, plastic beach detritus, bird’s nests, old needlework, tapestry wool, old concrete pots, plastic bags and truck names.

When (did you start): As a child.


How (many do you have?): Too many to count.

Where (do you find them): The beach, on the side of the road (discarded). Op-shops. (That’s Aussie for thrift store.)

Where (do you keep them): In my workroom in boxes, on display in the living room, or the garden.


What (‘s an interesting story behind one): One of my favourite nests is lined with soft fluffy white fur. I found it on the grass very close to a house where a little Maltese terrier lives. Its master brushes its coat and throws the fur into the garden, where the birds find it and bring it home to their nests.

What (piece would you like to add): Pink, orange and red discarded plastic bags.


Why (do you love them): I love the beauty and complexity of the natural objects from the beach. The bird’s nests are exquisitely made and are full of symbolism. The concrete pots come in weird and wonderful shapes and have an interesting patina. The truck names are just plain silly. The discarded plastic bags are a great medium for my crocheted sculptures. (Editor’s Note: Plarn, anyone?)
What (else do you collect): Friends!


So wonderful, Gooseflesh, thank you!

In her own beautifully organic handmade art, I love how Helle captures the magnificent wonder of our everyday world through her jewelry and sculptures made from pre-loved materials, inspired by the natural world. Be sure to visit her Earth affirming shop and her inspiring and beautiful blog for more moving expressions of the natural in our world.

Happy Earth Day, magicians!

How about you? Have a great collectors story? What do you collect? I’d love to hear.
Please post in the comments below.

The Collectors Series | Earth Tones Articles | Browse Recycled Items

Driftwood Wall Decor --- Driftwood Stones Glass Beads
Driftwood Wall Decor --- Driftwood Stones Glass Beads
Driftwood Burlap Root Painting on Found Frame...reduced price
Driftwood Burlap Root Painting on Found Frame...reduced price
Luggage Tag - Reclaimed Kevlar Sail Material
Luggage Tag - Reclaimed Kevlar Sail Material
Dangle Beads
Dangle Beads
White Beach Pebble - Custom Engraving name or word pebble
White Beach Pebble - Custom Engraving name or word pebble
Barnwood FRAME  4x6 rustic refined ... from aged reclaimed wood
Barnwood FRAME 4x6 rustic refined ... from aged reclaimed wood


  • Retro2GoGo

    Retro2GoGo said 9 years ago

    Great article! I have too many collections :)

  • NottyPooch

    NottyPooch said 9 years ago

    Wow! I mean, WOW!!!

  • Ayca

    Ayca said 9 years ago

    Great great great!

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree said 9 years ago

    I could look at her collection for hours! Fantastic edition :)

  • vixensnaturaljewelry

    vixensnaturaljewelry said 9 years ago

    So beautiful! I love that everyone has something special that they collect and cherish. I collect hats, I know it is kinda strange!

  • evihan

    evihan said 9 years ago

    wowww...fantasticc collectionsss..thanx for sharing with us:-)

  • Ebruk

    Ebruk said 9 years ago

    Great article.Great collections.

  • TwistedCrystals

    TwistedCrystals said 9 years ago

    I love beach finds! Thank you for sharing :)

  • Doodlage

    Doodlage said 9 years ago

    Great article! I "collect collections" too :) And my rocks would look awesome in here too ;)

  • Minxshop

    Minxshop said 9 years ago

    I never would of thought a pile of old discarded lighters could be beautiful. That was one of he most clickable pictures I've seen in ages.

  • UnaOdd

    UnaOdd said 9 years ago

    Wow! That is a fantastic collection! Love the extreme natural repetition! I collect my cats' whiskers among numerous other things.

  • RedMarionette

    RedMarionette said 9 years ago

    That is quite the collection! Beautiful!

  • laurelinsailor

    laurelinsailor said 9 years ago

    The most beautiful collection I've ever seen! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

  • girlsewcute

    girlsewcute said 9 years ago

    I love to see beautiful collections! For the longest time I was obsessed with collecting vintage buttons with no intended purpose other than just to lay them out and see how pretty they are, but now I use them in my jewelry!

  • gufobardo

    gufobardo said 9 years ago

    wonderful collections! I collect owls (stone, wood, beads and so on)

  • avantanthologue

    avantanthologue said 9 years ago

    gorgeous collection!

  • TheShabbyChicCottage

    TheShabbyChicCottage said 9 years ago

    What beautiful collections! The driftwood alone is enough to take my breath away!

  • SHAbang

    SHAbang said 9 years ago

    Great article rikrak! I love all the beach detritus, that picture with all the shells is so pretty.


    THINGMAJIG said 9 years ago

    It really does seem that everyone collects something unusual. Mine is bottle caps & my husband is tolerant but not understanding. What do you collect? Who thinks it strange?


    THINGMAJIG said 9 years ago

    elephants too, can't forget my elephants!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    I think we all collect something or other its just part of being human. I love these collections though some of them are so colourful.

  • rubycquins

    rubycquins said 9 years ago

    wow, lovely to see what others collect. I love the old fishermans rope.

  • DearOhDeer

    DearOhDeer said 9 years ago

    I love this, it totally made me miss the beaches of New Zealand from whence I am from. I'm a compulsive feather collector, I have jars and jars of them and am constantly annoying my friends when we are out walking by dawdling behind them filling my pockets with feathers only I ever seem to spot. I've actually had a recent burst of creativity with them and have started to make them into necklaces, and am working on cataloguing them in my sketchbook which might get turned into a zine at some point... feathers are so lovely and finding a good one makes me happier then most other things.

  • genisepark

    genisepark said 9 years ago

    Beautiful collections. I love the branches and shells.

  • MyWagonette

    MyWagonette said 9 years ago

    holy shit! remarkable.

  • BeadinBabe

    BeadinBabe said 9 years ago

    This really makes me want to live by the beach so I can find goodies like that!!

  • StelmaDesigns

    StelmaDesigns said 9 years ago

    Wow, I'm also a "beach detritus" collector! Great fun..great article!

  • ClementinesJewelry

    ClementinesJewelry said 9 years ago

    So beautiful!

  • FLcoconuts

    FLcoconuts said 9 years ago

    Nature is wonderful, thank you for your collection.

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 9 years ago

    My daughter is also a collector, she is always picking up nature goodies off the ground...

  • reiter8

    reiter8 said 9 years ago

    Very cool collection. After many years of collecting beach glass, I have finally stopped. My (very large) bowl is full and makes me happy.

  • kateendle

    kateendle said 9 years ago

    Wow! What a stunning collection and thanks for getting all that plastic off of the beaches. I live in Seattle Washington on Puget Sound and will often go out to pick up garbage off the beach. So your collection of lighters looks very familiar to me. Keep up the wonderful work. You're an inspiration! Have to go pick up beach trash now.....

  • ArtMind

    ArtMind said 9 years ago

    Oh super! I love Gooseflesh' work! The collection is amazing!!! Thanks for this super cool article! :)

  • Beadymonkey

    Beadymonkey said 9 years ago


  • VeraVague

    VeraVague said 9 years ago

    i love it!!

  • pasin

    pasin said 9 years ago

    great article

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 9 years ago

    Rik and Goose, what wonderful plethoras of objects. I really enjoyed this interview. Thanks!

  • EliseShop

    EliseShop said 9 years ago

    Great article!

  • EvenAndy

    EvenAndy said 9 years ago

    Great article:)

  • Ploust

    Ploust said 9 years ago

    What a gorgeous collection of textures and colors......what a way to begin my day! With eco-beach eye candy! Thank you for sharing your article and for including my urchins. Much to the chagrin of my hubby, I collect every natural and cool object I find on the beach, in the forest or in the meadow grass.....everything in nature is beautiful! Feathers, spanish moss from the trees, abalone shells, studio is like a bird's nest made of things I've collected with my beak! Gooseflesh has inspired me to find some fluffy white dog hair now!

  • krize

    krize said 9 years ago

    haha! What a wonderful and original collection! :)

  • emmjeyessvintage

    emmjeyessvintage said 9 years ago

    Great article! Perfect example how one item on it's own would be viewed completely different than as part of a collection.

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 9 years ago

    Such a neat little read; even the photos of the discarded litter are beautiful! What a fun collection. Thanks for sharing! Awesome seller's items as well; gooseflesh's tilda coral necklace and Lisa's pretty 'waiting' photograph-- love them!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 9 years ago

    Beautiful collections! Love the pieces of driftwood and shells. I could easily go overboard with shells! Happy Earth Day!

  • beadbooty

    beadbooty said 9 years ago

    Fabulous! I also love to see what other people collect. I'm never disappointed by the variety.

  • WhiteEarthStudio

    WhiteEarthStudio said 9 years ago

    What a great find. Your idea of what to collect is very similiar to mine. Really Beautifully organic. Happy Earth Day!

  • chinadoodle

    chinadoodle said 9 years ago

    amazing stuff!

  • nickandnessies

    nickandnessies said 9 years ago

    Pretty! I love how everything is so artfully arranged.

  • ifanhour

    ifanhour said 9 years ago

    What an inspiration! What a beautiful eye gooseflesh has!

  • tanisalexis

    tanisalexis said 9 years ago

    OHHH!!! In my opinion, one of the COOLEST, neatest, most amazing collectors of goodness that I've seen. and rikrak interviewed the amazing gooseflesh?!?! omg! I'm in heaven!!! :)

  • crazybutcute

    crazybutcute said 9 years ago

    hahah, did anyone else catch "truck names" as listed among her collections? I know someone who collects ridiculous hair salon names. Thanks for the smile.

  • filo

    filo said 9 years ago

    I have always admired Goseflesh's work, her sense of harmony and balance is inspiring.

  • SepiaLepus

    SepiaLepus said 9 years ago

    Wow! What a collection! You just look at it all and ideas just come flooding in. Truly inspirational.

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 9 years ago

    I love, love, love the Collectors series! :)

  • dayslonggone

    dayslonggone said 9 years ago

    OH! I love this article! Very cool collection! Thanks for sharing!

  • mamabstrunk

    mamabstrunk said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your collection of collections. Among the many reasons I love this site is that I can find items to add to my collections and find homes for different ones that I may have grown tired of. Ultimate in recycling and reusing.

  • urchinbags

    urchinbags said 9 years ago

    I love the ocean and it has to be one of the best places to find treasures!

  • relove

    relove said 9 years ago

    I'm so inspired by Gooseflesh's collection...just love it! Now off to the beach!

  • SimpleTraditions

    SimpleTraditions said 9 years ago

    I love everything, especially those buttons!!!

  • AZCreativeStudio

    AZCreativeStudio said 9 years ago

    Great story!

  • bertiescloset

    bertiescloset said 9 years ago

    love detritus! going to have to do a costco detritus collection of cardboard and large plastic containers.

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 9 years ago

    Beautiful!! I've purchased beach glass & beach pottery from rubycquins before. Great shop, beautiful stuff!! These pieces look amazing!!

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs said 9 years ago

    Great finds, what a collection!

  • jennyhoople

    jennyhoople said 9 years ago

    Wow, love the article! I'm always making little mini nature collections through the year, but a lot of times I trade them out as time passes and let the things go back to nature. What an impressive display she's gotten saved up!

  • NeedSomeBling

    NeedSomeBling said 9 years ago

    I also love the beach; it is my favorite place to be. Thanks for sharing your collections with us.

  • emilywootton

    emilywootton said 9 years ago

    What a great article and a great idea for a series! Beautiful!

  • cherrybones

    cherrybones said 9 years ago

    "Sigh" I used to live on an island, I havent been to the beach in forever...

  • Nishale

    Nishale said 9 years ago

    lovely article!!!! lovely beach treasures

  • ArtBoxDesigns

    ArtBoxDesigns said 9 years ago

    I want to go to the beach Now!!!

  • toutourouge

    toutourouge said 9 years ago

    oooh, I love collections, and to collect myself, so, let's go to the beach! :)

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 9 years ago


  • minouette

    minouette said 9 years ago

    Great choice rikrak! Gooseflesh's work is fascinating and it's neat to see how the collection works hand-in-hand with the creations.

  • jherrmann

    jherrmann said 9 years ago

    What lovely and intriquing collections! As a child, I used to dream of building cities on the beach from objects just like those! I still do.

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 9 years ago

    how cool is she...a wonerful tribute 2 earth day...even has old rusty lighters...awesome

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 9 years ago

    i wouldn't even of thought to collect rope and twine, but it comes in so many colors and looks great photographed as you have shown us.

  • jnorvelle

    jnorvelle said 9 years ago

    I loved this article! I also love walking the beach and collect unique items, at the same time I am able to do a bit of beach clean-up on each walk. Although, my husband would prefer I left 90% of the items where I found them. :)

  • jnorvelle

    jnorvelle said 9 years ago

    What an awesome collection! Love the pic w/ lighters, toothbrushes, rope, makes a beautiful picture, all these odd treasures from the beach. :)

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 9 years ago

    Great article! Happy Earth Day : )

  • bialakura

    bialakura said 9 years ago

    I love Gooseflesh's creations and collection as well! Thanks for sharing:)

  • katestriepenjewelry

    katestriepenjewelry said 9 years ago

    I love beach finds, great article! Now I'm extra excited about my upcoming trip to Washington State and Oregon beaches!

  • searchandrescue

    searchandrescue said 9 years ago

    Crazy stuff washes ashore! Beach combing is super fun!

  • boutiqueseragun

    boutiqueseragun said 9 years ago

    Great finds,I like Beach Detritus..

  • AuclairBlueSquare

    AuclairBlueSquare said 9 years ago

    So inspiring! 1. I have to go to the beach right NOW 2. My grandma used to help me pick the greatest shells for my collection. 3. I miss the sound of the waves coming back and forth 4. I miss my grandma...

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 9 years ago

    Avid beachcomber here! Nova Scotia beaches are my favorite!

  • LethaColleen

    LethaColleen said 9 years ago

    Pretty darn amazing...I never fail to be drawn in by collections. It just seems like its part and parcel with my own human nature...

  • VintagePaperParade

    VintagePaperParade said 9 years ago

    I love this collection! It reminds me of summer vacation in PEI and how the kids & I like to walk the beach looking for treasures.

  • elemegibere

    elemegibere said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! A delightful collection deal

  • twoartdirectors

    twoartdirectors said 9 years ago

    FANTASTIC!!!! My favorite article so far. Collections like these are the best way to remember events, trips, etc.

  • love4rocks

    love4rocks said 9 years ago

    Great article. Love to beachcomb.

  • GoodGriefGlass

    GoodGriefGlass said 9 years ago

    I feast for the eyes!

  • Gooseflesh

    Gooseflesh said 9 years ago

    WOOOOWW!!!!!!! Thank you RIKRAK for the wonderful story. Thank you everyone for sharing your own collecting urges and your kind words. I love that we are connected by our hunter gatherer past.

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 9 years ago

    lovely stuff, gives me beach envy

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 9 years ago

    Great treasures!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 9 years ago

    I love how Helle displays her materials... it's a work of art in itself. Beautiful!

  • artnomadix

    artnomadix said 9 years ago

    What a well documented collection Helle !! You are an inspiration to all of us with your Plarn Creations and Coastal Awareness. Thankyou for sharing more of Helle's amazing Life with us RikRak

  • redbirdink

    redbirdink said 9 years ago

    Love love love! Great work!!

  • friedasophie

    friedasophie said 9 years ago

    love the pottery pieces

  • YouAreYou

    YouAreYou said 9 years ago

    This is great, she has turned grabage into art! Love the rainbow lighters!

  • purevintageclothing

    purevintageclothing said 9 years ago

    Super Inspiring Beautiful Work, Yay!! Helle!!!

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage said 9 years ago

    beautiful photos and great pieces!

  • LaPerLaA

    LaPerLaA said 9 years ago

    I love this article. I am a collector of sea glass, sea pottery and sea stones from Italian coasts. My sea collection is composed of beauties found on the beaches in Italy. I love to turn this beauties that most people usually do not even see into little pieces of jewelry whose story can be filled only with imagination as the only thing that can be told is it was found… the rest is pure IMAGINATION.

  • carlossantiago

    carlossantiago said 9 years ago

    very cool. i love how organized the top photos are. very interesting.

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 9 years ago

    Great article!

  • geomanticsunite

    geomanticsunite said 9 years ago

    what a beautiful collection!

  • geomanticsunite

    geomanticsunite said 9 years ago

    love all the shapes and colors in this collection. gorgeous!

  • SSSJ

    SSSJ said 9 years ago

    Fantastic collection!

  • retrolabs

    retrolabs said 9 years ago

    wow, that is quite a collection! love the colors! wonderful article!

  • SugarShaira

    SugarShaira said 9 years ago

    Mmmm I don't think there's anything more beautiful or comforting than a stone, stick, or shard of glass that's been worn by the waves. Thanks for sharing your oh so lovely collection.

  • OctaviaBrown

    OctaviaBrown said 9 years ago

    Beautiful! My grandmother had a very similar collection of shells in every shape and size when I was younger and I loved it! Very inspirational :)

  • rakshniyavintage

    rakshniyavintage said 9 years ago

    oh my gosh - those collections are amazing :) so nice when they are displayed this way !

  • amylgieschen

    amylgieschen said 9 years ago

    Lovely article...lovely collection...thanks for sharing one of my creations in related items...yay! earth friendly repurposed art!

  • slumptown

    slumptown said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful collection! Love the way they are photographed and displayed.

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 9 years ago

    yeh for recycling. Love beach collections. The beach is a magical place:)

  • ForestWalkArt

    ForestWalkArt said 9 years ago

    love your collections!! i can't seem to go anywhere without coming home with a few exciting finds myself...bones,driftwood,shells,beach glass,old bottles & glass,rocks,feathers...i have baskets of things i have found or dug up! some i turn into new creations...and others i just enjoy looking at! i have jars of rocks & other finds from camping trips...each jar labeled! if i'm not 'professional' at anything else...i am at collecting!! :) thanks alot for your article!! and have a happy day all!

  • AdultIndulgences

    AdultIndulgences said 9 years ago

    Gosh, I love the beach and this is why. I always carry a bag when I visit the beach and come home loaded. What a great story.

  • eveldorado

    eveldorado said 9 years ago

    What an inspiring article! I have been fond of collecting natural wonders for ages. I'cant wait for the summer when I do some beachcombing again. Thank you so much for including my necklace in this lovely natural collection!

  • CharmedVisions

    CharmedVisions said 9 years ago

    Wish my collections were that organized. See, I told my family being a pack-rat was a good thing!!

  • TheShabbyPinkCottage

    TheShabbyPinkCottage said 9 years ago

    LOve the look of a beach collection

  • Gamut

    Gamut said 9 years ago

    One thing that I have collected over the years are old wool blankets. They can be any size, weight, color or condition. I wash and dry them, tear them into 2-3" strips, dye them and braid them with waxed linen thread into braided rugs. I also made a 5x7' braided rug with recycled coats, skirts etc. They are beautiful and last a long, long time. I don't sell them in my store. Thanks-Karen at Gamut

  • Bailoutabarista

    Bailoutabarista said 9 years ago

    You have inspired me to organize all my collections of "things" and create with them. Beautiful collection and now to go and visit your shop.

  • LittleMissDressUp

    LittleMissDressUp said 9 years ago

    Wow- what an awesome collection!

  • Chariot90

    Chariot90 said 9 years ago

    Wow! Awesome colors!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 8 years ago

    Stunning , loveeeeee it ! Thanks for your time for sharing !

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