That was the best beach glass I've found! A full, intact, old coke bottle, made in New Jersey, plus an American flag to wave.
I had a very busy weekend, but on Sunday morning my husband pointed out to me there was a Sea Glass Festival going on in Long Branch. I dropped everything and zoomed down there. I am so glad I did.
The festival was put on by the North American Sea Glass Association. They put on a festival each year, in different coastal towns across North America. Previous festivals have been in Santa Cruz, CA and Hyannis, MA. I wonder where the next will be? I definitely plan on attending.
I couldn't believe what I saw when I got there. A hundred vendors were selling creations made of beach glass. There was a ton of jewelry, plus stained glass, wreaths, ornaments and more. There were photographers with notecards and calendars of beachglass finds. There were also sellers of beach glass and beach pottery.
Besides selling their pieces, most of the vendors also had displays of their special treasures - not for sale - but just to share. It was fascinating to see the different finds from different places. Certain colors are found more in one place than the other. Also, beach pottery was shown as well.
Another area held tables where members of the club showed their finds too. They were not for sale, just to share.
Members of the local Antique Bottle Collectors Club had a table where they helped identify the origins of different shards and finds. There was a long line, but very happy collectors who finally got their answers.
The best part of the show was an area where anyone attending could enter their own beach finds into the Shard of the Year contest. There were hundreds of super interesting pieces displayed together. Attendees could view the finds. I didn't stay for the final judging, but last years first place winner received $1000. I wish I had brought one of my finds there. I'll have to do it next year.
Everyone I spoke to, both vendors and attendees, were so friendly and enthusiastic. Everyone there was addicted to beachcombing, as much as I am. I'm going to join the association today and look forward to becoming a part of the next show. How about you? Do you want to join me?
My idea of the perfect day goes like this. I take a walk on the beach in the morning. I find some little treasure that has it's own story. I bring it home to my studio. I create a new piece of work, using this object. I take a picture and share it with my friends online.
I love reading about local history of my area. Henry Hudson came here, to Sandy Hook, NJ in 1609. In the ships log is this observation about the Lenape Native Americans.
"This day many of the people came aboard, some in mantles of feathers, and some in skins of diverse sorts of good furs. Some women also came to us with hemp. They had red copper tobacco pipes, and other things of copper they did wear about their necks."
When I find shells on the beach, I just want to wear them. I think it's an ancient instinct within all of us. Here is a shell I found on Sandy Hook, made into a simple pendant of pure copper, to wear about your neck.
This pendant is available for purchase on my website in the Beach Walk Treasures Collection.
My walk on the beach today was much more pleasant than it has been in several weeks. It was warmer and much of the ice and snow are melted. I found some beach glass and purple wampum shells. That's always a good sign. Can Spring be far behind? I hope not.
So, here are three new beachglass pendants for you. The first is a refreshing spring green. I also have a frosted white and a pale aqua. I've textured the sterling silver backs with 3 different designs.
These all include silk cords. You can replace them with your own sterling silver chains or a leather cord. The rings are extra wide to allow for thick chains. I've also soldered them for extra security. You can purchase my beach glass pendants here in the Beach Walk Treasures Collection page.
The Sea transforms them and then throws them onto the beach, for us to collect. Some people call it beach glass and some call it sea glass. By any name, everyone seems attracted to it.
Frosty Green Beach Glass Pendant
I sometimes wonder why it is, that on a beach full of beautiful shells, I am most often attracted to the man-made bits - not just the glass, but other items too. Is it because they become more precious by their scarcity on the beach? Could it be because they show the combined efforts of man and nature? Or is it the mystery of wonder - how long did the sea toss this, what person once held this?
These are the types of questions I ask myself while I make jewelry using beach glass I find on my morning walks.
Please let me know if you have a piece of glass you've found and would like made into a custom pendant. I think it's so much more meaningful when the wearer discovered the "gem" themselves. If you wear it, let me know if you figure out the answer to the question - what makes beach glass so appealing?
Many of my pieces begin with a walk on the beach. Here's a view of what I focus on. Can you guess which shell will become the next piece of jewelry?
I empty my pockets onto the jeweler bench. Just a few treasures today.
From Shell to Jewel
The chosen one. Wrapped in silver. Now I need to file the silver closer to the uneven height of the shell.The transformation has begun.
I'm starting this new year with a new blog. Here I'll share with you some of the work that goes on behind the scenes. You'll see the inspirations, the discoveries and the process of creating the jewelery I offer for sale.
This year I plan on filling out some of the existing Collections. I also plan on creating at least 2 new Collections. I invite you to take a few minutes each day and join me on this wonderful journey.
Inspiring Ship sculpture
The inspiration for the above ship coin pendant began with a walk on the beach. The ship on top of the Paramount Theater on the Asbury Park boardwalk made me remember some coins I had. I always meant to use them in jewelry. I've been thinking of creating a Pirate themed Collection. So, on January 1st, I made the simple pendant.
Here's the reverse side of the pendant. The coin behind it is another of the same. I added a dark patina to the pendant. It's all brass and should weather well.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.