NASGA’s 10th Annual Sea Glass Festival 2015 Shard of the Year Winner, Earl Brown

The 10th Annual North American Sea Glass Festival held in Ocean City, Maryland this past August was an exciting time for attendees, particularly those that entered the coveted Shard of the Year contest.   The Shard of the Year contest gives private collectors an opportunity to show off some of their collections and win a cash prize.

The 2015 festival brought many unique finds,  so much so that the five judges had a hard time deciding the final grand prize winner.    After deliberation, the grand prize chosen was a stunning large aqua ridged piece.

earl brownThe judging closed and the time came to announce the winners.  The room was filled with anxious collectors, each hopeful that their piece would be the winning piece.   The Shard of the Year contest has ten other categories, and as each winner was called up to the podium, they were beaming with excitement.    Finally, the grand prize winner was announced by Richard LaMotte, former President and noted sea glass expert and author.    As Richard held up the large piece of aqua, the room was full of oohh’s and aahh’s, and Earl Brown’s name was announced as the Grand Prize winner.   Earl was in a bit of shock and quiet in his demeanor.    You will see from the photos and his answers below that he’s a no nonsense straight shooter.  Just as each piece of shard entered holds a story behind them, the photos after the contest tell a story.  The photos taken inside immediately following the announcement, Earl was stunned.   A few minutes later, in the photo taken outside with Kim Hannon below,  Earl is showing off his beautiful winning shard and the smile on his face is emerging.

earl brown and kim hannon nasga vice president
Earl showing off his winning shard with
Kim Hannon, NASGA Vice President

Earl entering the contest:

Earl explained after winning that he found  the piece a week prior to the festival and was talked into submitting it on Sunday, making his win even more exciting!  Earl had attended the festival on Saturday and showed one of the exhibitors who was amazed at his find and told him to enter the contest, however, Earl hadn’t planned on coming back on Sunday.   After thinking about it Saturday night, Earl decided to come back and enter his new find.

Earl explaining how he found it:

aqua brass lightEarl explained to Kim Hannon, that he was out sea glass hunting very early in the morning, while it was still not quite dawn, and as he walked along the beach, somewhere between Bethany Beach and Fenwick, he came up to the aqua piece which was embedded in the sand in a shoe print!  Can you imagine?    Earl believes that it may have been stepped on by night fishermen. Wow, they weren’t aware that they were stepping on such a gorgeous piece of history.

What the piece was in its first life:  The aqua lens more than likely came off a 20th century small vessel starboard light, similar to the antique brass lantern shown here.

Earl’s Q & A:

  1.  When did you start collecting sea glass and where did you get the “bug”?   Earl:  Five years ago.
  1.  Where did you find the gorgeous aqua piece?   Earl:  Between Fenwick & Bethany
  1. What do you think it was in it’s first life?   Earl:  Lather lens
  1.  What did you do when you found it?   Earl:  Yahoo loud enough, you should have heard it
  1.  What do you plan on doing with it?   Earl:  Too big for a necklace,  try to sell it or trade it
  1.  If you could travel anywhere to sea glass hunt, where would it be?   Earl:  Bermuda
  1.  Besides this beautiful find, do you have another favorite find you’d like to share?   Earl:  I have many nice pieces.

2015 Shard of the Year Contest Winners – North American Sea Glass Festival in Ocean City, Maryland.  List of winners and where they live.  To view Photos of all the 2015 Shard Winners, please visit our website’s 2015 Shard of the Year Winner Photo Gallery
Photos by Tommy Allen Photographs

Winners of the Shard of the Year Contest
Grand Prize – Overall Beauty – Earl Brown – Maryland
Winners for the other categories are as follows:
Runner Up to Grand Prize – Arlene Klaasen – Florida
Pottery/Ceramics – Stephanie Martucci – Delaware
Whimsical/Toys – Hailey Goddard – Maryland
Bottle Stopper – Kelsey Palma – Ohio
Most Unusual – Larry White – Ohio
Historical – Mike Yandle – Maryland
Art Glass – Virgil Hibbs – Virginia
Marbles – Gina Husta – New Jersey
Buttons – Cindy Williams – Maryland
Figural – Dave Wright – Virginia

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.

2014 Festival Schedule Announced

The NASGA website has been updated to include the schedule for the 2014 Sea Glass Festival.  https://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.  https://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:  https://seaglassassociation.org/CapeMayInfo2014.html

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