Meet NASGA’s 2015 Sea Glass Festival Lecturer, Bill Winkler

The North American Sea Glass Association’s 10th Annual Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, Maryland will be held August 29-30th, 2015 and will feature three lectures on Saturday.  Each of the lectures will offer attendees a unique look into the historical significance of objects found along the region’s DelMarVa shorelines, and we’ll also have a lecture on Greek Sea Glass.

winklerLGBill Winkler, with the Delaware Marine Archeological Society, will offer his knowledge of the local historical significance of sea glass and treasures, which can be found along the Delaware and Maryland beaches.

Bill has either spent time at the beach or lived by it almost his entire life. In the early 1950s his family vacationed in Dewey, Delaware, where they rented a cottage on Dickinson Street. That’s where his love for the ocean started. Since then, that love has taken him from coast to coast, provided Bill with a career and even a glimpse of a time when schooners either mastered the sea or were swallowed whole by it.

In ninth grade, a guidance counselor asked what career Bill wanted to pursue. He chose marine biology. He figured it would give him a chance to be by the ocean. That meant not being indoors—something Bill didn’t want to do if it would feel like the confinement of school.  Bill received his biology degree from the University of Hawaii in 1970, then continued in graduate school through 1973. He eventually left his studies to work for the airlines. My career included working for Island Air, Aloha and Western Airlines. By the time he left the islands, Bill had lived surrounded by the Pacific for a decade.

After Bill returned to the mainland, he migrated to the East Coast, where he made Pompano Beach, Florida, his home. Bill spent 17 years there fishing, surfing, scuba diving, treasure hunting for Mel Fisher and loving the beach life.

Yet Bill returned to Sussex County, just miles from where he had vacationed as a kid. Though Bill was a skilled diver, he had spent years working along Florida’s submerged barrier reef system, there was little demand for his services. So Bill ended up in the retail business with TreasureQuest Shoppe on Route 26, where he sells nautical decor and specializes in metal detectors, for treasure hunting.

Shipwrecks of Delmarva - art work by Robert Pratt, cartographer & research of the shipwreck locations with names & dates of sinking by Don Shomette. Of the 10,000 to 12,000 wrecks believed to lie on the sea floor, this is a one of a kind comprehensive representation.
Shipwrecks of Delmarva – art work by Robert Pratt, cartographer & research of the shipwreck locations with names & dates of sinking by Don Shomette.  Of the 10,000 to 12,000 wrecks believed to lie on the sea floor, this is a one of a kind comprehensive representation.

After years of selling metal detectors to people who discovered shipwreck artifacts on the beach, Bill and several friends founded the Delaware Marine Archaeological Society in 1997.

In 2002 the society completed the first maritime archeological survey in Delaware at no cost to the state. They focused on one 255-foot unidentified ship that was in the surf zone at Beach Plum Island. The fact that this boat remains anonymous is amazing, considering that it is one of the largest schooners built during its time. After years of work, we put together a 3-inch-thick report titled the “Beach Plum Island Project,” which details the architecture of the schooner. It includes VHS video, more than 300 photographs and plenty of drawings. Since the report was finished, much of the ship has been broken apart and scattered by waves, but at least part of her history has been documented.

Working in and out of the sea has taken Bill from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but now Bill finds himself on the same sandy shores he loved as a kid.  Bill finds himself at home along the Delaware beaches; although he still has the urge to seek adventure on an uninhabited island somewhere out in warmer waters.

Bill Winkler will feature a lecture, “The Historical Significance of Sea Glass & Treasures found along Delaware’s Coast” on Saturday at 11am during the North American Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, Maryland on August, 29th – 30th.

“Meet the NASGA Members”- SeaGals Gallery of DE, Sue Lemmons and Cheryl Eashum

The North American Sea Glass Association (NASGA) has been working towards integrating NASGA‘s online presence, including the NASGA website, NASGA’s Facebook pages, the NASGA‘s NING social networking site, the Shorelines Newsletter, as well as our blog, to strengthen NASGA’s mission and increase NASGA’s presence within the sea glass community.

Each member of NASGA will have the opportunity to share their involvement with NASGA and the NASGA Mission, and “introduce” themselves as members of the North American Sea Glass Association. We’re calling this the “Meet the NASGA Members” blog series. We’re excited to share our next member with you.

Our next NASGA Members are Sue Lemmons and Cheryl Eashum from SeaGals Gallery of DE.  Sue answered the questions for the two of them.

NASGA:  How long have you been a member of NASGA?    

We are new members this year, but have been following the organization and related links and members’ sites for several years.

NASGA:  Can you share your “personal sea glass story” (how and when you became interested in sea glass)?

Cheryl and Sue of SeaGals Gallery of Delaware
Cheryl and Sue of SeaGals Gallery of Delaware

Our sea glass journey began long ago. As sisters, we have always been very close. We grew up camping and doing all the things that do along with that, including beachcombing.  Our jewelry boxes were full of fossils, beach stone and sea glass from the Delaware coast. Over the years, we continued our beachcombing and collecting beachy things. As these things began to pile up, my husband, a neat freak (a real challenge for an artist…), asked me one day to either get rid of the piles or use them. So, of course, I chose option number 2, and I used them!  We started with a lot of shell and beach stone art.  It was Cheryl who came up thought to wrap beach stones into pendants.  They were quite popular.  Then we thought about the sea glass we had been collecting forever, wrapped it and quickly learned that there was there was an entire sea glass culture out there. We were hooked and have been making jewelry and sea glass art ever since. Lucky for us, our families have been very supportive of our venture.

NASGA:  Please tell us about your particular craft and when you formed your business or began practicing your skill. (For members who create jewelry, the questions would, of course, differ from those who design mosaics or authors).

sea gals Eight years ago, I assisted a Girl Scout troop with arts and crafts, of which many were beach themed items we invented, such as shell ornaments, soaps, etc.  We decided to create a business badge, which would incorporate learning basic business and marketing skills by selling their items at a local craft show. When unexpectedly asked the name of our business, we impulsively replied “SeaGals Gallery”, since we were all girls. The items we had were a huge success, and although the girls were pitifully bored, that moment rekindled my deep-down desire to create.  The next year, my sister, Cheryl, joined in and together, we have cultivated and grown SeaGals Gallery of DE. Although we started with ornamental decorative type things, we moved into sea glass jewerly world six years ago- and now- cannot imagine life without it!

seagalsNASGA:  Are you also an avid sea glass collector (or do you solely enjoy working on your craft or skill), and are you partial to a certain type or color of sea glass?

We are absolutely committed to finding and using the glass in the state in which it is found.  We like to find the pieces with words, letters, and unusual shapes, and of course, all the different colors.  We also use pottery, fossils and still at times, pretty beach stones. Cheryl is very creative with pieces that have markings or patterns, using them as a background to create pendants with tiny artistic scenes.

NASGA:  If you are a collector, can you tell us about your collection and whether it may be difficult to part with some of your creations or incorporate your favorite pieces into projects?

We have quite an extensive collection, so we try to separate by color in organizers and jars. We have specific pieces that we are partial to and will probably never part with those pieces. These special pieces are the ones that we found on trips or were found by someone close to us and have sentimental value.  We also have jewelry that we made for ourselves that would be hard to part with, although we have sold jewelry right off our bodies before, at client’s insistence.  There was one piece that sold that way and although I was hesitant, I decided to do it, thinking I could make another for myself.  I haven’t been able to find the same elements since, so, I learned that lesson the hard way.

NASGA:  How has your craft evolved over time (how has experience helped you to perfect your craft and whether you were self-taught or took classes or had some other type of training, or whether you perhaps happened to discover your craft by accident or had an experience that shifted your focus from one type of craft/skill to another)?

Cheryl at annual pirate festival
Cheryl at annual pirate festival

As mentioned, Cheryl started out wrapping beach stones and fossils and then we incorporated sea glass.  We initially sold some really old sea glass & good colors for next to nothing!  I do wish I had kept the large lavender one from my ‘old jewelry box’ though, but we live and learn!  It is interesting to look at pictures of our original work and see how far we have come in technique and style.  We make unique pieces for women, kids and men, but we really enjoy making Pirate and Wench bling the most!

 

 

NASGA:  Have you previously been (or are you currently) active in the association (have you had the opportunity to organize a festival, serve on the board, deliver a presentation, participate in educational-related events)?  

seagalsWe have never organized a sea glass festival, but we have organized several craft shows, and it is truly a challenging experience.  Those who have never set one up, most likely have little idea of how difficult it is. We did host classes for the first time last year, at the request of group hosting a week-long event. We initially committed to one class for about 15 people.  These slots quickly filled during event registration, so we opened up a second class, both for 20 people and quickly filled all 40 slots. During the classes we discussed what genuine sea glass is, where if comes from and how to learn more from the NASGA website and the festivals.  These folks were from all over the country and several from other countries, so it was really fun to share our passion and see their creative sides unfold. During the 2 hour class, each person were able to wrap at least 2 pieces,  not all expertly, but enough to get a fair try with guidance. However, some were quite good at it and to see the pride of accomplishment from each attendee was very rewarding. One lady even went sea glassing while she was here in the one of the worst places for bugs, and we were so excited that she found glass.  She wrapped it and did a nice job.

NASGA:  How has your membership in NASGA benefited you professionally and/or personally?

Formal membership demonstrates commitment to the cause of preserving genuine sea glass.

NASGA:  Is there a particular NASGA festival that stands out as your favorite (if the member has participated in several, or more than one), and can you a share a memorable experience associated with a previous NASGA festival (whether sentimental, humorous, ironic)?

This year will be our first NASGA Sea Glass Festival, but we’ve participated in many over the past 6 years.   The first one in Lewes was most memorable. People loved our items, and we did very well. However, as the culture has grown, we’ve not been accepted into that show as often as we would have liked.

NASGA:  What are some of your other interests or hobbies? If you could learn another skill (does not need to be art related) what would it be?

Hobbies:  gardening, making jelly and canning. Other things I would do: Write mystery stories; rehab old houses, travel the world

Sue during craft festival
Sue during craft festival

NASGA:  Where can readers find out more about your craft or skill? Also, are readers welcome to contact you, and if so, what is the preferred method for them to reach you? 

We have a Facebook page and welcome contact via email seagalsgallery@ymail.com

 

NASGA:  What is your favorite beachcombing find?

I found a red marble very early on.  I sold it on an artsy seashell pin for $5.00.  Again, live and learn, right?  I’ve never found another.

NASGA:  How have you helped strengthen and support the NASGA Mission?

By continuing to get the message out to others that using genuine sea glass in natural state as found is true sea glass.  We also throw back any sea glass pieces that are not totally ready yet, to secure future sea glass finds.  Also, researching the history of found sea glass.

 

Meet NASGA’s 2015 Sea Glass Festival Lecturer, Christeena H. Minopetros

The North American Sea Glass Association’s 10th Annual Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, Maryland will be held August 29-30th, 2015 and will feature three lectures on Saturday.  Each of the lectures will offer attendees a unique look into the historical significance of objects found along the region’s DelMarVa shorelines, and we’ll also have a lecture on Greek Sea Glass.

Christeena H. Minopetros will feature a lecture on Greek sea glass on Saturday at 3pm titled, “Greece and Her Islands, A Sea Glass Lover’s Dream”.  Join Christeena as she takes you on a sea glass journey through the Greek Islands. After spending the last 15 summers sailing and collecting sea glass in Greece, she will share her experiences, photos and maybe even some of her secret collecting sites.

Can you share what started your love of sea glass collecting and beach-combing?

Christeena's sea glass collection
Christeena’s sea glass collection

Some of my first memories are long summer days on the beach with my family in New Jersey. Shells, driftwood and sea glass were abundant back in those days, and we brought them home by the bucket full. Even though I did not work with sea glass professionally until many years later, I am sure that those magical days influenced my love of shorelines and beachcombing.

We know that you are from New Jersey and lived in Greece. Tell us a little about what took you to Greece and your early collecting experiences there?

The elusive sea glass marble
The elusive sea glass marble

I had a wonderful life in New Jersey. But after visiting Greece the first time on a sailing trip by myself for my 40th birthday, I fell in love with the country. One year later I sold everything including my flower shop that I had owned for 15 years and never looked back. Every night I would go to the beach to watch the sunset, I remember running my hand through the sand one night and finding sea glass, my aha moment. By the time I met my husband 5 months later my lovely little Greek veranda was filled with bowls, bottles and jars of the incredible gems.

As collectors ourselves, we know how exciting it is to find a special piece of sea glass, ceramic pottery or fossilized items. Do you have a special piece that you cherish more than others you’ve found? Describe the piece and historical significance, if applicable?

Sea Glass deck prism
Sea Glass deck prism found in NJ

This is a hard question because we have a massive unusual private collection. But many years ago on a bitter cold winter day in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey I spotted a small piece of clear/white sea glass peeking through the sand, and to my surprise it was this gorgeous deck prism. Used for centuries before electricity to radiate light below deck on sailing ships.

 

 

 

 

Is there a favorite beach that you like to frequent and refer to it as “your beach”?

Yes there is, and my hands start to shake as we approach it!  To call it a “beach” is a stretch, as it is really a cove between two mountains in the Greek Islands. The winds and currents bring what floats into the cove trapping the debris, delivering sea glass in abundance, making it a serious treasure trove for a sea glass collector.

You’ve traveled to many different places and walked many beaches during your travels. Where is your favorite place to collect?

Yes, I have been fortunate to have traveled many places in my life, but none have compared to beauty of the Greek Islands.

Do you have any beaches on your “Bucket list”?

Yes, my travel days are not over. Would love to visit the Amalfi Coast, Italy and Seaham, England but wherever we are we are always in search of sea glass.

Do you have a memorable beach-combing experience you can share with us? And what did you find?

One year my husband and I took six weeks and drove from from Los Angeles to Seattle Washington leaving the coast only when we were forced too. Treasure hunting on every beach and cove the whole way. At that time glass beach in California was not well known, so as you can imagine we were thrilled when we happened upon it, and my husband found a gorgeous diamond.  I thought about the poor woman that lost it…..

Aside from collecting and aside from your expert experiences, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Join Christeena as she takes you on a sea glass journey through the Greek Islands.
Join Christeena as she takes you on a sea glass journey through the Greek Islands.

Living in the Florida Keys has allowed me to acquire an amazing collection of orchids and other unusual plants that grow all year long, back to my floral designing days, I just love being surrounded by flowers. Sailing is a large part of our lives, nothing gives you the freedom and serenity of floating through the ocean…….

 

 

Christeena H. Minopetros will feature a lecture on Greek Sea Glass on Saturday at 3pm titled, “Greece and Her Islands, A Sea Glass Lover’s Dream” at the North American Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, Maryland on August, 29th – 30th.

www.seaglassjewels.com

“Meet the NASGA Members”- STBeachFinds, Steve Gladhill and Tammy Thatcher

The North American Sea Glass Association (NASGA) has been working towards integrating NASGA‘s online presence, including the NASGA website, NASGA’s Facebook pages, the NASGA‘s NING social networking site, the Shorelines Newsletter, as well as our blog, to strengthen NASGA’s mission and increase NASGA’s presence within the sea glass community.

Each member of NASGA will have the opportunity to share their involvement with NASGA and the NASGA Mission, and “introduce” themselves as members of the North American Sea Glass Association. We’re calling this the “Meet the NASGA Members” blog series. We’re excited to share our next member with you.

Our next NASGA Member is Steve Gladhill and Tammy Thatcher of STBeachFinds from St. Leonard, Maryland.

NASGA: Hello, Steve and Tammy.   How long have you been a member of NASGA?

We’ve been a member of NASGA since April 2015

NASGA: Can you share your “personal sea glass story” (how and when you became interested in sea glass)?

We have lived on the beach most of our lives.  We walk the beach to relax and enjoy nature.  In doing so you find all kinds of interesting things especially sea glass.

Some of ST Beach Finds sea glass collection
Some of ST Beach Finds sea glass collection

NASGA: Please tell us about your particular craft and when you formed your business or began practicing your skill.

Our business started approximately 3 years ago.  Our collection had grown so much that we need a way to share it with people.  We both love to be creative and started by a lot of trial and error, along with online research and most of all going to festivals and talking to people.  We taught ourselves how to do wire wraps, drill glass and which glues work best.

Steve sorting sea glass for projects
Steve sorting sea glass for projects

 

NASGA: Are you also an avid sea glass collector (or do you solely enjoy working on your craft or skill), and are you partial to a certain type or color of sea glass?

We are most definitely collectors.  Some of our most prized pieces decorate our home.  We have a few reds, yellows and many shades of blues.

 

 

NASGA: If you are a collector, can you tell us about your collection and whether it may be difficult to part with some of your creations or incorporate your favorite pieces into projects?

It is hard sometimes to part with that special piece but we ask ourselves, if someone else would enjoy it as much as we do and would another piece work as well in the project?  The piece usually ends up being used.  Of course we all have those pieces that we absolutely will not part with.

Tammy sorting sea glass
Tammy sorting sea glass

NASGA: How has your craft evolved over time (how has experience helped you to perfect your craft and whether you were self-taught or took classes or had some other type of training, or whether you perhaps happened to discover your craft by accident or had an experience that shifted your focus from one type of craft/skill to another)? 

We have definitely evolved over the last few years.  We look back now on some of the early photos and can see an improvement in the quality of our work.  We continue to research new techniques and talk to other crafts people to see what is working for them.  Exchanging information is the best way to help each other succeed.

NASGA: Have you previously been (or are you currently) active in the association (have you had the opportunity to organize a festival, serve on the board, deliver a presentation, participate in educational-related events)?

We have not had the chance to do this yet, as we have only been members since April.

NASGA: How has your membership in NASGA benefited you professionally and/or personally?

We are hoping being part of NASGA will help us network and build our business over the upcoming years.

Favorites from ST Beachfinds' sea glass collection
Favorites from ST Beachfinds’ sea glass collection

NASGA: Is there a particular NASGA festival that stands out as your favorite (if the member has participated in several, or more than one), and can you a share a memorable experience associated with a previous NASGA festival (whether sentimental, humorous, ironic)?

This will be the first festival in which we are participating.  We hope to come away with some wonderful memories that we might share next year.

NASGA: What are some of your other interests or hobbies? If you could learn another skill (does not need to be art related) what would it be?

Steve: Become a Captain and pilot a boat to journey around the world.

NASGA: Where can readers find out more about your craft or skill? Also, are readers welcome to contact you, and if so, what is the preferred method for them to reach you?

We always welcome contact with anyone interested in sea glass. Please feel free to use either our Facebook page, STBeachfinds or send us an email stbeachfinds@gmail.com

Small sea glass bottle stopper
Small sea glass bottle stopper

NASGA: What is your favorite beachcombing find?

We found a salt cellar, a stopper with a W engraved,  a stopper that is smaller than a dime and a few whole bottles.  Of course, any piece of red is a treasure.

 

NASGA:  How have you helped strengthen and support the NASGA Mission? 

We walk our local beaches and pick up trash others are leaving behind while always searching for sea glass.  When out in our boat we see things floating in the bay and stop to retrieve them if possible.  Sometimes these items are incorporated into crafts used in the other side of our business which deals with nautical designs.  We feel that by upcycling we are doing our part to help protect our beaches, waterways and the marine eco-system.

NASGA:  Thank you , we hope you enjoy your first NASGA Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, Maryland, August 29th and 30th!

 

Meet NASGA’s 2015 Sea Glass Festival Lecturer, Patricia Samford

The North American Sea Glass Association’s 10th Annual Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, Maryland will be held August 29-30th, 2015 and will feature three lectures on Saturday.  Each of the lectures will offer attendees a unique look into the historical significance of objects found along the region’s DelMarVa shorelines, and we’ll also have a lecture on Greek Sea Glass.

Patricia Samford, Director, MAC Lab
Patricia Samford, Director, MAC Lab

The first lecturer featured is Patricia Samford, from the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab (MAC Lab) located in southern Maryland.  The MAC Lab is a state-of-the-art archaeological research, conservation, and curation facility located at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, the State Museum of Archaeology, in southern Maryland. The MAC Lab serves as a clearinghouse for archaeological collections recovered from land-based and underwater projects conducted by State and Federal agencies throughout Maryland.

 

NASGA: Patricia, thank you for participating in the North American Sea Glass Association’s 10th Annual Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, both as a presenter, and as a Shard ID expert on Saturday and Sunday.  We’re excited to have you join us this year. 

 NASGA: You’ve studied both land and marine archaeology, specializing in ceramics and pottery. What is your favorite part about doing what you do?

 The Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab, where I work, has over 8 million archaeological artifacts from across the state.  Ceramics and glass make up a good portion of the collections from sites that date after European contact.  Having those collections at my fingertips and being able to share them with the public through our Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland website (http://www.jefpat.org/diagnostic/index.htm) is one of my favorite parts of my job.

NASGA: Is there a favorite beach that you like to frequent and refer to it as “your beach?”

My favorite beaches would have to be those of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I have not found that much sea glass there, but I am intrigued by all the shipwrecks off these shores, often referred to as “the graveyard of the Atlantic”.

MAC Lab Director Patricia Samford shows CSM President Brad Gottfried a canoe dating to 210 A.D. which is currently in the freeze drier to preserve it. The canoe has been soaked in a special solution that helps the cells retain their shape during the freeze-drying process. The vacuum removes the moisture as vapor through sublimation. The canoe will be weighed weekly and when the canoe's weight stabilizes the freeze drying is complete.
MAC Lab Director Patricia Samford shows College of Southern Maryland President Brad Gottfried a canoe dating to 210 A.D. which is currently in the freeze drier to preserve it. The canoe has been soaked in a special solution that helps the cells retain their shape during the freeze-drying process. The vacuum removes the moisture as vapor through sublimation. The canoe will be weighed weekly and when the canoe’s weight stabilizes the freeze drying is complete.                                                                    Photo Credits: College of Southern Maryland

NASGA: You’ve traveled to many different places and walked many beaches during your travels. Where is your favorite place to collect?

I will be traveling to Scotland this summer and I look forward to beachcombing in the Outer Hebrides.  I hear that British sea glass is a rare treat!

 NASGA: Do you have any beaches on your “bucket list?” 

 I would love to visit Glass Beach near Fort Bragg, California.  The photographs I have seen of this beach are amazing.

 

NASGA: Do you have a memorable beach-combing experience you can share with us?   And what did you find?

 This was not beachcombing per se, but I lived in a small town in North Carolina on a tidal creek.  A nor’easter blew the water out of the creek and a friend and I were able to walk out on the creek bottom and pick up pieces of pottery from the 1700 and early 1800s, when the townspeople used the creek as their trash dump.

 NASGA: Aside from collecting and aside from your expert experiences, what are some of your other interests or hobbies? 

 I love to travel and have quite a few countries I would like to visit (not all of them with beaches!).  I also enjoy reading about the past and imagining what life was like to past generations.

 NASGA: Thank you for sharing your story.  We’re looking forward to the Ocean City festival and your presentation and expertise in ceramics and pottery. 

Patricia Samford’s Lecture Information:                                                                         Beyond Sea Glass: Identifying Sea Pottery
Saturday, August 29th   1pm – 2PM
Patricia Samford, Director, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, St. Leonard, Maryland

Patricia Samford

Tucked away amongst the fragments of beautiful beach glass you have picked up over the years, there are probably more than a few fragments of pottery as well. Have you ever wondered how to identify and date them? If so, be sure to attend a talk given by Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab Director, Patricia Samford. Using examples of colonial and post-colonial pottery from the Lab’s collections, Dr. Samford will provide tips for identifying and dating your pieces based on paste color, hardness and decoration. Patricia will also be on hand all weekend long as a Shard ID expert. Attendees are welcome to bring their sea pottery for identification.