For as long as I can remember I have had a strong affinity for the color sea foam. Of course what counts as "sea foam" falls into quite a range (after all, a foamy sea takes on many hues) – which is why you will see so many variations in this cabinet. Actual foam from the sea, to be honest, can be a bit gross, and so the name of the color beautifies and mystifies the sea in a charming, if not reductionist kind of way.
|My office window, with sea foam trim|
I'm not sure exactly when sea foam became such a popular color. Ander shared some research he had done into Crayola history and found that they have only ever made a marker that was literally colored "sea foam" - otherwise, the company has called the color "sea green," "light green," and even "New York Lady Liberty." It seems maybe anyone's classification of the color is haphazard at best - which makes collecting it all the more whimsical, I suppose.
|Encountering and wearing sea foam in Hanoi, Vietnam|
This playful little color drives my consumer habits (as the cabinet illustrates, I opt for the sea foam line of a product when I can). It drives the habits of my friends and family too - who gift me items that are sea foam as well, or contain a flicker of sea foam, like the wash rag featured in the cabinet that my mother knitted for me.
|Sea foam salt and pepper shakers at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand|
If I travel, I am sure to take pictures of sea foam objects or landscapes. Writer Ellen Maloy wrote a book called the Anthropology of Turquoise (a close cousin of sea foam) in which she discusses the color's appearance and significance across various cultures. I suppose in collecting the color myself, I am interested in its emergences/reappearances across cultures, too.
|A shelf of the sea foam bottles used by New Zealand colonists - Matahoke, New Zealand|
But in the end, I think what's more interesting to me about this ongoing collection is the way that my affinity for the color has allowed me to notice mundane things in a new light. Sea foam helps me notice: objects, clothing, landscapes, doors, all sorts of things. So I strive to add it to my life, make room for it, take time to appreciate it, whenever I can.
|Chicken perching on sea foam chair, painted by author|