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2009 North American Sea Glass Festival

Sea Glass Part 1 of 3
Some artisans make really lovely sea glass jewelry - see my past post History in the Sand about a Nova Scotian artisan's work. If you live anywhere near Erie, Pennsylvania, you're in luck. The 2009 North American Sea Glass Festival will be held  there on October 17-18 (next weekend).

Why Erie? That's because "sea" glass can also be found on the shores of inland lakes - courtesy of dumping by the heavy shipping traffic.They are known as beach glass there. Just as there are many beadaholics, sea glass enthusiasts abound. The Festival is expected to attract thousands of them.

Here is a video of last year's festival highlights featuring many sea glass jewelry artisans and the Shard of the Year contest where cash awards are given out to the very best. The winner last year won for her red shard. Red is one of the rarest sea glass colors (see my past post on a lovely piece made from red glass).

Overall, sea glass is a diminishing commodity due to the rise of plastic use (and boy, what a mess that has made of our oceans - check out the Great Pacific Garbage Patch video or article). The sea glass that remains continues to decrease in size year by year.

If you need a sea glass reference book check out Pure Sea Glass: Discovering Nature's Vanishing Gems. The book has includes tips on beachcombing strategies, provides help identifying sea glass and assessing each specimen's rarity. Via and via

For tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips

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  1. I'm a big fan of sea glass and plan to check out this book...thanks for sharing!

  2. Sea glass is so lovely! I love jewelry made from items that others consider "trash" - one of my specialties is paper beads made out of old magazines that my neighbors give me. I taught a jewelry class at a children's camp this summer, and that was a big hit with the little ones.

  3. Am I the only one who wants to go out into the lakes and oceans and dump a bunch of broken glass into them? I mean, they'd be smooth by the time they made it to shore!

  4. Not quite, BetteJo but I have looked at my tumbler and wondering if I should load it up with some broken glass. That's how they make fake sea glass!

  5. Hi BetteJo, if you dump the glass beyond the waves, it is unlikely that it would make it to the beach, although it would be possible in a big storm. Also, usually years of wave action are needed to make sea glass.

    Beading Gem, you can make tumbled glass, but it just doesn't come out looking like sea glass. Many have tried. One of the reasons is that the unique frosted surface of real sea or beach glass is a result not only of tumbling, but of leaching elements out of the glass by long exposure to water and sunlight.

    We invite you to check out our 250+ pages on sea glass and leave comments and/or photos as well as sea glass crafts ideas,

    David and Lin

  6. Great site David and Lin. I enjoyed checking out the list of beaches in my area with good chances of finding the real stuff.

  7. Great post Pearl...I like sea glass, in particular the cobalt blue, although the pale mauve is lovely, so is the copper and the black...guess I like it all! :0)

    Checked out site!


  8. I'd love to go see anything shiny and sparkling! Hope who ever goes has a fabulous time!

  9. Thanks for writing about sea glass! I discovered sea glass about 2 years ago, posted some sg jewelry on my blog and was invited to a sea glass network in a comment. I joined them and I was amazed what one can do with sea glass. Not only jewelry, but.........WOW!

  10. The sea glass festival was lots of fun - lots of beautiful sea glass, sea glass artwork and great people!

    Lisl Armstrong
    Out Of The Blue Seaglass Jewelry

    Sea Glass Resources:


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