NASGA’s Meet the Member Interview – Suzanne Hunter – The Sea Glass Grotto
Q: How did you learn about NASGA, and how long have you been a member of the association?
A: I heard about NASGA through it’s current President, Kim Hannon, when I participated in one of her events. I have been a member for 2 years as The Sea Glass Grotto.
Q: Can you share your personal sea glass story, or how you discovered and developed a passion for tumbled treasures?
A: I started collecting with My grandmother, in North Wildwood New Jersey, in the 1970’s. Our nightly ritual when we were visiting would be to take stale bread to the beach after dinner to feed the birds, and find treasures!
Q: Please tell us about your particular craft or skill, such as tools and techniques, training and experience, and how your product or skill has evolved or changed over time.
A: I making wire Jewelry with telephone wire from my father when I was a child, I would wrap stones, and flowers, and make paper beads. I developed my own Silver Smithing skills with the help of many books and advice of other artists, but I am primarily self taught. Learning is a never ending journey.
Q: Are you also a sea glass collector (or do you solely enjoy working on your craft or skill)? If you are a collector, can you tell us about your collection, and is difficult to part with some of your creations or favorite pieces?
A: I am a collector, and I have many pieces I will never part with, those are special to me because I treasure the memories of my childhood and my grandparents that they evoke. I keep them stashed away in my jewelry box.
Q: Can you share some of the joys and challenges of your business and craft?
A: The biggest joy and challenge is sharing the difference between real and artificial Sea Glass. It is wonderful to be able to educate people on the differences while also sharing memories, or stories, I feel like beachcombing as a whole is a very personal journey for each individual and I hear many stories about those adventures.
Q: How does your NASGA membership benefit you professionally and/or personally?
A: I have the backing of a wonderful organization who stands behind it’s artists as being genuine sea glass and handcrafted wares.
Q: Do you plan to exhibit at the upcoming festival in Wildwood, New Jersey, and is there a particular NASGA festival that stands out as a favorite, or a memorable experience associated with a previous NASGA festival?
A: I am extremely excited about this year’s festival since it is in my home county. Wildwood, and Cape May County are absolutely wonderful in the fall, with a wide variety of events, wonder dining and fabulous weather, and I am looking forward to “hosting” my fellow NASGA members and sharing some of my favorites!
Q: Can you tell us about some of your other interests or hobbies?
A: Being a mom, most of my favorite hobbies revolve around my kids, but as a family we enjoy beach time, camping and cooking. We are currently in the planning stages of a lengthy cross country trip in our Winnebago.
Q: How can the public learn more about your craft or skill, inquire about your calendar (upcoming exhibits or events), and/or contact you if desired?