When we think of sea sponges, the first thing that comes to mind is cleaning – I hear you! That’s effectively the one aspect of the sponge we have exposed to. From our infancy we’ve witnessed their incredible absorbency, to their unsurpassed softness and as a result their rich thick lather. It’s easy to overlook how important this handy kitchen tool really is. Well, its time to take a fresh look at the sea sponge.
In order to appreciate how important our sponges are, just picture life without them. Where else are we going to find something with as much softness and absorbency. Like the old saying goes – you don’t know what you have until its gone. I can’t think of any household that does not make use of the sponge on a daily basis; one simply can’t imagine life without it. Well, take a chance and imagine life without our sponges – not pretty! Our chores will suddenly become more labor intensive, and bath time will simply be less enjoyable. But, did you know there are some sea sponge uses that exceed our expectations.
Great for Decoration
If you love the marine environment, then you may want to use the sea sponge as a decorative piece. They can be found in places like your home, yacht and hotels; where they are displayed in a glass vase with a small amount of sand and a few decorative rocks. Or one can simply place them near a sink or bathtub to remind us of the sea and enhance our mood.
This is only one example of many that people can think of when it comes to decorate their homes or boats with sea sponges. Only your imagination will determine how far you’ll go.
Great for Ceramics
If ceramics is something you love, then you are aware of the variety of uses sea sponges have in this art form. It is great to use on the lathe machine, as it doesn’t leave any streaks on the surface that is being molded. For example, Seal Wool sponges are excellent at absorbing water from inside the pots. They are also great for applying glaze in order to get that speckled effect. If ceramics is your passion, then a natural sponge must be part of your pottery tool kit.
Indispensable Tool for Painting
Another one of the many great sea sponge uses can be found in the art world. For those artists out there, you are very aware how important is to have the natural sea sponge in your arsenal of tools. For instance, by using Aphrodite Natural Sponges with acrylic paints, the artists can attain organically textured effects.
These natural sponges are excellent for smoothing, wiping and blending colors, and it can also replace the brush when you are directly applying. There’s no end in sight when it comes to the versatility of the natural sponge in acrylics.
When it comes to oil painting, natural sponges are an important tool for administering thin glazes of colors. Application of dry mediums can be achieved in a short time span in order to increase depth and refraction.
Because you’re using a sponge, you will not find any hairs left stuck on any of the layers, as is the case when using a brush. If you decide to do some dripping and splattering, then all you need is to soak your sponge with liquid oil colors and wallah!
Benefits to Human Health
One of the most amazing uses of natural sea sponges is in the aid to human health. These creatures are sedentary, making them unable to escape predators. They have to come up with ways to defend themselves. Naturally, they have evolved some ingenious methods to keep themselves safe. They are armed with spicules which, besides providing structural support, provide protection from other animals that may be a threat.
Sea sponges also produce chemicals protect themselves not only from predators, but from threats on a different scale. Here I’m referring to bacterial infections, which they neutralize with antibodies they themselves produce. They also create toxins which are lethal to predators. Scientists have studied many of these agents and have found them to be beneficial to humans. Some have been found to be effective drugs in fighting inflammation and cancer (cK-12).
According to Shirley Pomponi there have been around 8,000 chemicals discovered in natural sponges. Some of these have special qualities which gives them the potential to be turned into medicine for humans. I fact, one of the first synthesized drugs from sponges came from a shallow water sponge from Florida. It was called Ara-A or Vidarabine; an active ingredient in herpes medications (Ocean, Find your Blue). Though it is no longer in the market due to a more effective drug being introduced. However, the great potential is clear.
Natural sea sponges are undoubtedly one of the most useful creatures we have encountered. Their importance is first of all to the coral themselves; where they maintain a healthy nitrogen level – which is crucial for other marine life. Their great ability to regenerate makes them a sustainable resource for humans as well. This ability of theirs helps us to prevent any negative impact on the environment in which they live.
Cleaning is the most obvious use we associate with sea sponges. Their unmatched softness and absorbency makes them awesome for cleaning or bathing.
If you love ceramics then the sea sponge is a must have. It’s unmatched in soaking excess water from inside your bowls as well as creating a shine on the finished product.
These versatile tools are indispensable for painting as well – either with acrylics or oil based paints. Their great absorbent quality makes them excellent for captureing excess water or paint. And their natural texture will add depth to your art.
One aspect of sea sponges that most people aren’t aware of is their medicinal value; their natural chemical defenses have been used by scientists to treat conditions like herpes, inflammation and cancer.
Natural sponges have far more potential than many of us ever imagined.
Leave a comment. Do you use sea sponges? Do you have any ideas of how to use sea sponge, for either work or craft?
Thank you for stopping by!