NASGA News – February 2015

NASGA NEWS – February 19, 2015
by Valerie Weston, President, NASGA

With the new year, NASGA has transitioned to a new board of directors, and the board has taken some time to reflect on what the association has been able to accomplish for the sea glass community; what we have learned from the successes as well as those efforts that may not have gone as planned.  Along with the support of the commercial members, the board takes its stewardship of the sea glass community seriously.  We continue to foster the same passion for genuine sea glass and are proud that we have created a fun and civilized space to share that enthusiasm with each other on many different levels.  Please take a minute to “meet” the NASGA Board of Directors on the NASGA website.

The NASGA social network, NING, is always free of charge and is a “non-commercial” space open to all collectors of genuine sea glass to associate with one another.  The membership has risen to over 3,000.  The NASGA Facebook is growing in popularity as well.  In 2014, we began a blog and have big plans to expand that avenue of communication going forward.  The NASGA website continues to draw interest from around the globe as the premier site for genuine sea glass enthusiasts.  All of these channels of sea glass community outreach are now being coordinated by a newly created Communications Committee as we continue to explore ways to keep our message fresh, relevant, and consistent.

The NASGA website homepage contains links to join in all of these ways to share with the sea glass community.

2015 NASGA Sea Glass Festival logoAs we kick into high gear on the planning of the 2015 North American Sea Glass Festival, we are keeping in mind that it will be the tenth festival, the first being held in 2006.  Plans are under way to make it memorable – for only positive reasons.  It will be held at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland on August 29 & 30.  The festival will take place in the 24,000 square foot Bayfront Ballroom on the second level, plus additional space for lectures.  The entire east side of the Ballroom is a glass wall that overlooks the Isle of Wight Bay.  We can assure you that there is ample space for attendees, ample free parking, food and beverages on site, excellent educational presentations, and the most talented sea glass artisans and authors on the planet whose commitment to NASGA’s mission is supported through membership.

Please make plans to join us for our tenth sea glass festival celebration in Ocean City.  We will keep you updated with all the latest news on the festival planning through our website festival page, and through the NASGA Festival Facebook page.

We would like to close by thanking all of the NASGA board members who have worked so hard on behalf of the genuine sea glass community from the association’s inception in 2007.  We thank Christeena Minopetros and Suegray Fitspatrick whose board terms ended in 2014 but whose commitment continues on the committee level.  Founding member and President Richard LaMotte’s board term also ended in 2014.  He had served on the board since its inception, and we express heartfelt appreciation for his leadership, commitment, and passion for the sea glass community for so many years.

Valerie Weston, President
On behalf of the NASGA Board of Directors

NASGA Shard of the Year, a collectors dream come true

Each year during the North American Sea Glass Festival, the Shard of the Year (“SOTY”) contest, is held in memory of Joanne Schrieber, founder of the 2004 North East Sea Glass Festival.  Private collectors are given an opportunity to show off some of their special pieces.  The 2014 contest showcased nearly 800 entries, and was truly an amazing display of treasured finds.

All shards of genuine sea glass from around the world are eligible for entry into the Shard of the Year contest, not just shards from “North America”.   Every beachcomber treasure found has a little bit of history within it, but during the Shard of the Year contest, it’s a time to showcase the rare finds. 

It is a beauty contest, where the most unusual pristine piece is awarded the grand prize, $1,000 dollars, and is named winner of the Overall Beauty category, and bragging rights to it’s owner for years to come!  

Grand Prize winner, Lou Marcotte, with NASGA President Richard LaMotte
Grand Prize winner, Lou Marcotte, with NASGA President Richard LaMotte

The 2014 Shard of the Year grand prize winner, Lou Marcotte, submitted a beautiful red piece found in the Dominican Republic.

Overall Winner-Marcotte shard
Photo Credit: Gary de Blois

The piece was from a glass candlestick, made by Westmoreland Glass Company sometime in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s.   The pattern of this particular candlestick is Doric, and as shown in the photo below, the original was a beauty as well.

History photo credit:  Janice Pierce
History photo credit: Janice Pierce

The remaining categories were runner-up, pottery/ceramics, whimsical/toys, bottle stopper, most unusual, historical, art glass, buttons, figural and marbles.

2014 Shard of the Year Winners. Photo Credit Gary de Blois


A huge thank you to Gary de Blois, who photographed the 2014 Shard of the Year contest.  To find out more about the Shard of the Year contest and NASGA, please visit the North American Sea Glass Festival website.

Details Announced for the 2014 North American Sea Glass Festival in Cape May, New Jersey

Sea glass collectors and aficionados from throughout North America will gather in Cape May, New Jersey this fall to share their treasures from the sea and learn more about this increasingly popular pastime. The 9th annual North American Sea Glass Festival will be held September 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Avenue in beautiful Cape May. Admission is $5 daily at the door, and the public is invited.

2014 North American Sea Glass Festival
NASGA President, Richard LaMotte showing a young sea glass enthusiast how to distinguish real sea glass from fake tumbled glass.

New to this year’s festival will be the Open Sea Glass Forum, an interactive general question and answer discussion moderated by members of the North American Sea Glass Association. In addition, festival attendees will enjoy presentations from sea glass experts regarding the history and origins of sea glass as well as stunning displays of rare and collectible sea glass.

2014 North American Sea Glass Festival
Beautiful sea glass jewelry, art and home decor can be found at the North American Sea Glass Festival with artisans from all over the United States in attendance at the Cape May festival this year. Festival photo credits: Gary du Blois

Over fifty exhibits by sea glass collectors, artisans, and authors will feature only genuine sea glass combed from beaches around the world.  Please see the Participating Exhibitors tab for a complete list.

2014 North American Sea Glass Festival
the highly anticipated Shard of the Year contest brings a lot of Ooohs and Ahhhs… and a chance to win $1,000.00 – Festival photo credits: Gary du Blois

The annual “Shard of the Year”contest awards $1,000 to the grand prize winner as well as additional cash prizes in numerous categories. Please see details at the SOTY Contest tab on the left.

The North American Sea Glass Association is proud to announce that a portion of the festival proceeds will benefit two New Jersey non-profit entities: Clean Ocean Action and the Wetlands Institute. You can read more about these groups on the NASGA Blog

Cape May Conventional HallThe beautiful new Cape May Conventional Hall is located directly on the beach facing the Atlantic Ocean. The historic City of Cape May, New Jersey, is rolling out the red carpet for the Sea Glass Festival and is a fantastic seaside community to bring the entire family.

CapeMay-LewesFerryThe Cape May-Lewes Ferry is offering a 30% off discount to festival goers. Please click  here for information on the ferry discount,  be sure to book your reservations early!  You’ll also find directions to the Convention Hall and the festival, a partial hotel listing for properties close to the Convention Hall, and much more local information.

2014 North American Sea Glass Festival poster

2014 Festival Poster

This year’s beautiful poster photography using the Cape May lighthouse as a backdrop is by Anita Roth, Anita Roth Photography. The graphic artist was Francine Mueller, Sea Goddess Treasures. Both are commercial members of NASGA.  The poster can be purchased for $10 plus $6 postage by clicking this link: 2014 Poster

All of this information and more can be found on the North American Sea Glass Festival website. Be sure to share this important information with your fellow sea glass enthusiasts.  See you in September!


NASGA to donate to local New Jersey environmental non-profit, Clean Ocean Action

Every year the North American Sea Glass Association holds it’s annual North American Sea Glass Festival, and every year, the festival donates to a few local charitable organizations that focus on environmental concerns, shoreline protection and clean-ups, all which are also part of the NASGA mission.

This year, the NASGA Sea Glass Festival will be held September 27 and 28th at the Cape May Convention Hall in Cape May, New Jersey.   So, in keeping with past traditions, the NASGA Board of Directors wanted to make sure the donations would stay in New Jersey, to help local environmental efforts.  The Board of Directors voted on two organizations, this blog entry will introduce one of those charitable organizations, New Jersey based, Clean Ocean Action.Clean Ocean Action
Clean Ocean Action is a leading national and regional voice working to protect waterways using science, law, research, education, and citizen action.    According to the Clean Ocean Action mission statement, they will identify the sources of pollution and mount an attack on each source by using research, public education, and citizen action to convince our public officials to enact, and enforce laws, which will clean up and protect our ocean.

Below is information that can be found on their website, which includes their  successful campaigns.

· Improve programs and laws that protect public health at swimming beaches.
· Reduce plastics and litter that pollute waterways, spoil beautiful beaches, and harm or kill marine life including turtles, whales, seals, birds, and fish.
· Protect coasts from oil and gas drilling in the ocean, including Maine to Florida.
· Establish the nation’s first Clean Ocean Zone to start a national chain reaction for all coasts.
· Reduce toxins in waterways to ensure fish and shellfish are free of pollution and safe to eat.

Clean Ocean Action's Beach Sweep campaign, focusing on volunteerism and cleaning our shorelines
Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweep campaign, focusing on volunteerism and cleaning our shorelines

Clean Ocean Action (COA) is a broad-based coalition of 125 active boating, business, community, conservation, diving, environmental, fishing, religious, service, student, surfing, and women’s groups.  The ongoing campaigns, Waves of Action and Beach Sweeps, promote volunteerism focusing on beach clean-ups and eco-conservation projects.

To find out about their current campaigns, including signing a petition to stop underwater ocean blasting off New Jersey shorelines, or to help with their Beach Sweeps and Waves of Action campaigns, please visit their website.
Clean Ocean Action is a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit organization.

written by Kim Hannon, NASGA Board