After months of anticipation October 9th had finally arrived. I had been looking forward to the sea glass festival for months now. I traveled up to Cape Cod from South Carolina with my husband Jon. My Mom and Dad were also with us, being official sea glass hunters for Made By Meg they have become quite the beachcombers and were also very interested in the festival. We arrived at the festival on Saturday about 15 minutes before the doors were to open. I could not believe my eyes when we walked into the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis. The line for admission went down the hall and continued and continued. It actually started wrapping into a swirl in the lobby. I was thrilled to see so many sea glass enthusiasts. Walking past all the people patiently waiting for the doors to open you could see the anticipation. Seeing the beautiful jewelry on many spectators was fun. I recognized many of the pieces and styles of different artists work on many spectators. While in line listening you could hear spectators rave about the size of the crowd, their favorite beach combing location, complements of jewelry being worn and comparing this show to the last. There was chatter everywhere by everyone all patiently waiting. Then the line started moving. Volunteers collecting admission moved very quickly and got everyone through the doors rather fast.
Once inside it quickly became very crowded. Knowing I was going to take my time I started taking everything in and arranging my plan of attack to get to all 56 vendors. I just started looking at the booths that caught my eye then figured I would work my way around to them all on my second round of looking. I was impressed with all of the artwork. Lots and lots of booths with jewelry as I had expected. Other crafts included window panes of sea glass, framed collages, sea glass covered home items like lamps and vases, wine stoppers, hair pins, napkin rings, tables, key rings, solar lights, candle holders, mobiles, sun catchers and garden sculptures. Artists had a variety of products that used sea glass. Many vendors also featured raw sea glass for purchase. Many had selected pieces matching to use for jewelry or other crafts. Earring matches were selected and sold. I also saw one vendor with a treasure chest of sea glass finds for spectators to search through and pick out their favorite to purchase. One vendor was selling DVDs with instruction to drill holes in sea glass. They were also selling the diamond bits to do so but as I had overheard they were already sold out a few hours into the show. Other vendors were selling pieces by color and size for spectators to pick. Some vendors simply used sea glass as part of their display. One vendor had trays and trays of small white pieces of glass and earring cards that were sitting in the glass. It made for a beautiful display.
To the jewelry. Wow. There are so many talented sea glass jewelers. I was blown away by the talent and creativity. I was impressed with one design in particular. Santa Cruise Sea Glass has a design that they call the Turtle Ocean Window necklace (which they own the Design Copyright 2008) I found this design particularly interesting. There collection of raw sea glass pieces was rather impressive as well. Knowing how difficult it is to obtain truly rare pieces they took the cake. I was thrilled to meet some fellow online friends/ sea glass jewelers. I immediately recognized West Coast Sea Glass display and was able to pull Mary Beth away for a few moments to introduce myself in person. Her jewelry is even more impressive in person. I also had the opportunity to meet Danielle Renee a very talented elegant wire wrap artist. The detail in her wire wrapping is exquisite.
So after making my first sweep of the room I decided to wait in the long line to meet Richard LaMotte. Richard also known as the Sea Glass Godfather was in attendance at the festival. I was looking forward to meeting him and getting the opportunity to get his autograph. I had him sign my copy of his book Pure Sea Glass. I also had a different request for him. Not sure if anyone else ever thought to have him do this but I picked out a nice large white piece of sea glass from my collection and asked him to sign that as well. It will make a great addition to my new studio. (10/13/10 – Richard emailed me and told me I was in fact the first to request a signed shard. I am surprised I was the first seems like an obvious request to me. Who knew. :) ) He was featured on the Martha Stewart show last week with shards from his collection. Check it out here.
Outside of the exhibition area a shard identification booth was open. I was surprised by the number of spectators waiting in line with their Tupperware in hand. They waited in line and then when finally getting their turn with one of the bottle experts they would open up their container and slowly unwrap the paper towel securing their most prized shard to have it examined. It was interesting to listen in on the explanations of each shard. I wish I could have sat there all day and listened just to suck in all of the knowledge.
Next it was time for my second sweep of the floor. Now Jon and I really took our time going to each booth. If we could get into them. It was very crowded and some vendors were difficult to get to. It was great to take the time to talk to a few of the artists. Being able to connect with someone on the same level is really fun because you have so many things in common. Not many people have the same exact profession as myself so I enjoyed meeting people who do. During one of these conversations I was very inspired. I was wearing one of my own necklaces. My Maureen necklace. I received many comments on it at the festival, which was very nice. One of these comments came from a vendor. She also asked if I made it and I responded with that I had. I introduced my self and handed her one of my business cards. Immediately she said “Oh, YOU’RE MEG!” Then she continued to tell me how she follows my blog and told me all about my new studio that I blogged about and such. I felt like a celebrity. Someone is out there reading my blog… who knew? lol. Thank you Monica Branstrom of iSea Design you put a big smile on my face. I really enjoyed meeting you and talking with you and seeing your jewelry – it is beautiful. I love the earthy feel you have to your designs. You are very inspiring.
Unfortunately, it was time for Jon and I to leave at this point. We had a long drive back to Myrtle Beach for Jon to get to work on Monday morning. We did not get to go to any of the lectures or get to see the shard of the year on Sunday. I am sure they were fantastic.
I want to thank the North American Sea Glass Association. You did a fantastic job putting together this festival. I am so glad I was able to attend. I am sure next year’s show will be fantastic as well. I am looking forward to applying and hopefully being a vendor.
Who else attended the festival? I encourage you to post below about your experience at the festival. Give details about the products you saw and the lectures you attended. What did you buy?? How did the shard of the year contest go? Please share your experience.
Made by Meg – Genuine Sea Glass Jewelry