2014 Festival Schedule Announced

The NASGA website has been updated to include the schedule for the 2014 Sea Glass Festival.  http://seaglassassociation.org/FestivalSchedule2014.html

On Saturday, the schedule includes two not-to-be-missed presentations as well as a chance to ask sea glass experts the things you’ve always wanted to know about sea glass:

  • Presentation:  Shipwrecks of New Jersey by Margaret Buchholz, noted author and expert on Atlantic coastal history, takes us on a gripping 350-year voyage through the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” — a name bestowed upon the state’s treacherous shoals and inlets.
  • Open Forum:  The Mystery and History of Genuine Sea Glass  Panel discussion with sea glass experts and serious collectors Mary Beth Beuke, Jeanie Hood, Jenna Perfetti, Maryann Wadiak, and moderated by Cape May’s own Darlene Eldridge.  Bring all of your sea glass questions for the panel.
  • Presentation: The Sea Glass Center and Traveling Sea Glass Museum  by Danielle PerraultJoin Danielle Perreault, Executive Director of The Sea Glass Center Kennebunkport, Maine as she reveals images of natural and man-made sea glass taken from a scanning electron microscope at The University of Southern Maine.

On Sunday, the Festival’s premiere event, the Shard of the Year Contest, awards up to $2,000 in cash prizes for the most pristine and unusual shards of genuine sea glass and other found objects.

See the web site page for details on how to enter the contest and your chance to win the top prize of $1,000.  http://seaglassassociation.org/Festival_SOTY.html

As well, NASGA has made arrangements for free remote parking and a free short trolley ride to shuttle you back and forth to the Cape May Convention Hall.  Details and a map are now on the Cape May Information page:  http://seaglassassociation.org/CapeMayInfo2014.html

The festival is six short weeks away – see you then!2014ColorAd1


Marbles or Hearts? What would be your favorite sea glass find?

Red heart sea glass specimen found by Lynn Vigue of Connecticut
Red heart sea glass specimen found by Lynn Vigue of Connecticut

Every sea glass collector seeks their “Holy Grail” of sea glass.   For many it’s finding a multi-colored frosted marble, to others it’s finding a perfectly shaped heart, of any color, but to find a red shaped heart?  Amazing!

Lynn Vigue of Connecticut did just that!

We saw this photo of Lynn’s special red heart sea glass treasure and wanted to know more about her special find, and in her own words she answered some of our questions.

1.  When did you start collecting sea glass and where did you get the “bug”? 

I started collecting sea glass in autumn, 2008. I had retired in 2006, so it was the perfect time to discover sea glass!   The ironic thing is that, a year or so earlier, I had decided to visit a Maine island, and was told that Monhegan was the best, if you could only visit one.  There were two little girls selling sea glass on the island for 10 cents a shard that day, and I took a picture of them.  I looked at the glass and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to buy it!  Anyway…  My mom (who lives in Maine) had a friend whose daughter was born the same day and year as I, and so the friend wanted me to meet her. We took a trip to the Maine coast, where the friend lived, and I discovered she was an avid sea glass collector.  She had several containers on display in her home, and they all looked so attractive!  She offered to take me to her beach, where I found about five small pieces.  I was hooked!   I live in Connecticut, so I decided to get to the CT coast as soon as I returned home.  I went to perhaps CT’s most popular beach, and I spent about three hours combing the beach there.  I found about three very rough pieces, but I wasn’t about to give up! I decided that the best place to find glass would probably be near large coastal cities, so that’s where I looked next.  It was a bonanza!  Lots of sea glass.   I have learned over the years NOT to pick up every piece that isn’t sharp.  I still find lots of glass on my favorite beaches, though it seems to have diminished in the five years I’ve been hunting it.

2.  Where did you find the red heart piece?   What do you think it was in it’s first life?

I found the red heart on a beach near Bridgeport, CT.    I have found four or five gems of different types on this beach (blue, emerald, and round red), and a friend found another when we were hunting together.  When I found the emerald, I wondered if it was real…but I was told by another collector that precious gems don’t frost like glass does, so I figure that all the little gems I’ve found there are glass rather than precious stones.  So, my guess is that this was a faux gem of some type.   I don’t know if it would have been used for jewelry or perhaps on a jeweled piece of clothing.  I keep thinking “sweater,” because I remember that jeweled sweaters were popular when I was young.   The pic actually shows what I believe is the backside…the side that would have been glued to the bezel. The other side is more faceted, like a gem.  It sits better this way for a photo, though!

3.  What did you do when you found it?

 I remember the day I found it…I was on my way to Maine to visit my mom, but low tide was early that day, so I went to the beach first (even though it was 30 miles in the OPPOSITE direction from Maine!).   I, of course, was delighted when I found the heart, and couldn’t believe my good fortune, as I had ALMOST quit a few minutes before.  But I decided to go a little further up the beach, in an area where I usually didn’t find much sea glass.   The first thing I did when I arrived in Maine was pull the little heart out to show my mom and her friend, who was visiting.   To be honest, they didn’t seem that impressed!  It is quite tiny, of course, and they probably didn’t appreciate what a truly rare find it was!

4.  What do you plan on doing with it?

I keep this little heart in a seashell on display with other tiny treasures.  I love beachcombing in any season…it never fails to lift my spirits!    A treasure hunt in a beautiful setting that is warmer in winter and cooler in summer than inland…what could be better?!  And, it’s an inexpensive way to decorate your home in a unique way!  I now have a room filled with my favorite sea glass finds, plus several suncatchers and other things I’ve made with my glass.

So, now we ask you, What has been your favorite sea glass find?

written by Kim Hannon, NASGA Board

The Sea Glass Center…A Traveling Sea Glass Museum

The Sea Glass Center, a traveling sea glass museum
The Sea Glass Center, a traveling sea glass museum

The Sea Glass Center, a traveling sea glass museum, is taking the love of sea glass on the road, and they need your help!   The Sea Glass Center has started a KickStarter campaign to jump start their fundraising to make their idea become a reality.   This will be the first of its kind and NASGA is behind the idea of a traveling sea glass museum.    We decided to ask the creators of The Sea Glass Center a few questions to learn a bit more about their idea, fundraising and future.

The Sea Glass Center, NASGA Blog interview via email danielle@theseaglasscenter.org  and  katherineshine@gmail.com

1.    Can you tell us about your ideal reader for this blog article?

It is our hope that this blog would be read by everyone who has an interest in sea glass, from the occasional beachcomber to the professional who makes a living doing something related to sea glass.

Red bottle Before and After, Photo credit Michael Wilson
Red bottle Before and After, Photo credit Michael Wilson

       2.     How did the idea of  The Sea Glass Center come about?

Danielle Perreault and Aimee Thorman, sisters and co-founders of The Sea Glass Center have been picking up glass since they were little girls.  As adults, they both make livings running businesses they own related to sea glass.  Over the years they have observed that not only is there a growing number sea glassers out there combing the beaches, but there is less old and rare sea glass to be found.  Even so, there isn’t a day that goes by in Danielle’s shop that a customer doesn’t come in and asks what sea glass is.  Being so very curious themselves, Danielle and Aimee are always researching their own finds to uncover the mystery and the history of each piece.  After many trips to the NASGA sea glass festivals over the years and seeing all the treasured pieces, they had this idea to create a permanent collection, owned by the public, and put on display for the whole world to enjoy in their home town.

Antique gun handle piece, Photo credit Michael Wilson
Antique gun handle piece, Photo credit Michael Wilson

       3.    What do you want your potential donors for The Sea Glass Center KickStarter campaign to know?

We started this venture as a nonprofit because it is our hope and dream to leave a legacy behind for future generations; a legacy of education and preservation – documenting the history of our favorite pastime.  It is not our goal to travel the world at the expense of the public and amass this collection ourselves.  Rather, we want this to be a community of kindred spirits each giving a small piece of their treasure to this public collection for everyone to see, learn about, and explore.  By making this a nonprofit, the sea glass donated will forever remain in the hands of a nonprofit and not part of a private collection.

Bottle and sea glass pieces, Photo credit Michael Wilson
Bottle and sea glass pieces, Photo credit Michael Wilson

4.  What are three implications if your KickStarter campaign does not reach   its goal?   What would be the next step for The Sea Glass Center?

We have a pretty lofty goal of $60,000.  The average museum exhibit costs $250 a square foot to build so that it will withstand all the rigors of traveling from place to place.  We are talking about needing close to $750,000 to complete this project and do it on the grand scale that we have imagined.  We are not waiting to see how we do on Kickstarter to trigger next steps.  We are taking those steps now.  Aimee has a very successful background as a professional grant writer and she is seeking out grants from private foundations and federal agencies now and applying for the funds that are out there.  Senator Collins, from Maine, where The Sea Glass Center is based, works hard to help nonprofits in Maine to find and successfully apply for grants, and we are taking advantage of this.  We are working hard to partner with museums and corporate sponsors.  We will have a presence at many events here in the United States that are focused on sea glass so that we can get the word out and garner support.  Whether or not Kickstarter is successful will not hinder our business plan.  We are here to stay and will see our dream come to life. 

Green bottle Before and After, Photo credit by Michael Wilson
Green bottle Before and After, Photo credit by Michael Wilson

 5. Can you describe The Sea Glass Center as if I knew nothing about it or the market?

The Sea Glass Center is a nonprofit organization that exists to preserve and present the historical, artistic and cultural significance of sea glass through education.  Our mission is to educate the world about all aspects of sea glass and to preserve a world-class collection for the public to explore and enjoy.  We are embarking on a journey of collecting, cataloging and preserving some of the most beautiful and unexpected treasures that have washed up on shores of oceans, lakes and rivers, all over the world!  We will create a world class traveling exhibit that explores and presents the world of sea glass and all its beauty, history and wonder!  This exhibit will be available to all museums, science centers, aquariums and other educational outlets so everyone can learn about this wonderful part of history!

Pipe, Photo credit Michael Wilson
Pipe, Photo credit Michael Wilson

       6.     What do you feel is the single most important takeaway from this interview?

We are humbled by the love and support that this community has shown us.  We are so very thankful for the opportunity to share our mission with you and your readers.  This project will create demand in the marketplace by raising awareness on a national level, which will grow the consumer base of people who want to know more about sea glass and its historical significance.   

Sea Glass Museum- Kickstarter
Sea Glass Museum- Kickstarter

       7.     What action do you want the reader to take?

We ask that your readers will take the time to check out our project on Kickstarter and make a pledge.  If everyone who loves sea glass gives one dollar and one special piece, it would surpass our wildest dreams.  We are going to give this everything we have!  Help us make this dream a reality! 

Relevant links for The Sea Glass Center:

website: http://www.theseaglasscenter.org/home.html

 facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theseaglasscenter

 twitter: https://twitter.com/seaglasscenter

 instagram: http://instagram.com/theseaglasscenter/

 Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1986940391/sea-glass-a-world-class-traveling-museum-exhibit

UPDATE:   March 3, 2014.  There are 8 days left of the the KickStarter Campaign.    They have plans to continue forward on starting The Sea Glass Center.  With the help of you, the sea glass collector, they will succeed.   Check out this very special letter received from the former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Barbara Bush letter to The Sea Glass Center

written by Kim Hannon, NASGA Board