Wow! What an amazing response! I am so excited about how the first year of this challenge has gone. 40 entries in total!!! That is far beyond what I had expected. I want to thank each one of you for participating. I hope everyone enjoyed the experience of stretching your creativity. I encourage each of you to continue with finding different avenues for inspiration. I want to thank Dawn Whitehand for writing her poem “rebirth” for this year’s challenge.
the sun no longer wept
its tears cleansing the land
rivulets cascading gurgled
filling thirsty creekbeds
cracked furrows created over time
now bubbled sparkly bright
green sprouts battling dead earth
win and burst forth soft fronds
greeting the chirp of eager wings
flapping and remembering enthusiasm
while the long shadows of dusk
wait intrepidly for a new day
~ Dawn Whitehand ©2015
About Dawn Whitehand
Dawn has been writing poetry since the age of fourteen, and has been published in various media, the latest being Felanzine Magazine. She is also an accomplished visual artist, having exhibited widely throughout Australia (her home country) and overseas. Her blog features her own poetry accompanied by original drawings inspired by her verse.Visit Dawn's Website
Thank you Dawn for writing the poem for this challenge :)
Not only is it a beautiful poem, but as you will see from the entries it greatly inspired the artwork for all of us. Each of the entries below are a part of the 2016 Carter Sea Glass Design Challenge. This was a challenge for each artist to stretch their creative mind and not against each other. No voting, places or awards are being given. However, each artist that has a business has links to their websites and social media accounts, I encourage you to visit their pages and show your support for their work. You can also show your support and share your encouraging words to the artists in the comments section at the bottom of the entries. If you are interested in participating in the 2017 challenge, be sure to sign up for my email list and also come back at the first of the year for next year’s challenge inspiration.
The entries are listed in the order in which they were received. You may click on each image to preview a larger version.
40 Submissions!View Grid
The title of this piece is “Flowers of the Bahamas” The poem makes me think of springtime and the rebirth of flowers that bloom after the long winter. Spring starts here in March after all the cold fronts have passed by.
Artist: Gere Reed
From: Pennsylvania, USA
After reading the poem, I continuously thought about my beach pebble collection and my 6 remaining pieces of sea glass hidden away in a trinket box. Then the older photo I took many years ago of the wild and beautiful dog fennel invaded my thoughts and demanded inclusion of rebirth and growth and future. Somehow my fingers found their way into this “Future Grains of Sand” photo manipulation. The pebbles have been resting in an old enamel potty and needed to be revived. My glass is the colors of peace. The architecture of body and mind, hand and eye all became creative fire.
Because I couldn’t create an original piece due to time constraints, I chose this piece to go with the poem. When she writes of the sun setting, it made me think of the moon mine, as it is the first moon I’ve placed in a piece. When she writes of the rivulets gurgling, it made me think of the bed of seaglass in this picture, the sea. It’s a beautiful poem…
Artist: Irene Brown
Business: Sea Glass Studio 3
From: Indiana, USA
This window represents the rebirth of Sea glass and items thrown on my local beach. A celebration of a new life.
The poem Rebirth by Dawn Whitehead inspires in me, feelings of a refreshing originality that comes with every day. The words themselves invite a pleasing visual concept of my own surroundings coming to life each morning and the reminder that this natural wonder occurs repeatedly. My necklace design is entitled Rock Pool at Dawn as this to me encompasses the very essence of the poem, coming to life, the newness of every day, newly formed rock pools with the tides retreat, the amber glow of the sun on the water reflecting the red cliffs local to my area, the glistening sparkle of the sea, the dancing of the sea flora in the newly formed rock pool and the emergence of its inhabitants. I hope you can see what I see. Materials used; sea glass in amber and white, tan suede, sterling silver, Indian moonstone rondelles, Akoya salt water pearls, swarovski crystal, picture jasper, silk thread.
This poems reminds me of the land waking up in spring. My natural beach glass wreath represents all of the spring colors – deep blue grape hyacinth, turquoise water, white patches of snow in hidden hollows, various shades of green shoots, and brown leaves from the fall exposed by the rain melting the snow.
Artist: Susan Sobol
Business: Beachglass In a new light
From: Ohio, USA
Dimensions: 24.5″ wide x 30.25″ tall
Dawn Whitehands’ Rebirth inspired my mind, body and spirit for two weeks before I could start my beachglass design process.
Then, the forest scene revealed itself to me. What flowed was the translation of Rebirth’s key words into symbols. The symbols in my artwork enable others to visually read Dawn’s poem. Naturally, some symbols revealed themselves more quickly than others. With that in mind, I started with them and almost magically, the balance naturally fell into place.
I am grateful to Meg for introducing Rebirth. I am hopeful that my artwork enables others to see and feel it’s impact.
Dawn’s poem ‘rebirth’ instantly transported me back to when I lived in the Sonoran Desert and how I would long for late summer monsoons to give relief from the heat and transform the arid landscape into a glorious fragrant garden. I selected this single multi-colored piece of Seaham sea glass to represent the dormant desert floor and the white topaz gemstones to symbolize how precious the rain is for the rebirth of the landscape. The surrounding handcrafted sterling silver detailing is the growth when the two inevitably meet.
Artist: Mary McCrimmon
Business: Copperhead Queen Jewelry Designs
From: Ohio, USA
The poem to me is about Spring. The great awakening from winters deep slumber. The line that caught me was “green sprouts battling dead earth win and burst forth soft fronds”. The fern design came right away with variegated sizes and colors. It was meant to be as I found the beach glass for it quickly. I loved doing this challenge as it compelled me to do torch work to get this design just right. Thanks Meg!
The blizzard dumped two feet of snow on us. The poem reminded me that the sun would eventually melt the “sparkly bright” snow, spring will come, and with it bring green rebirth- that’s what the sea glass, perched atop that two feet of snow at dusk with its “long shadows,” represents. The snow is beautiful, but I’ll be happy when it melts into “rivulets” and spring arrives.
When I first read this beautiful poem, I thought of California, and the horrible drought they have been having. How the lack of rain and water is killing the land. So this piece is my little prayer to them. For hopes of greener land and lush grass. I loved this poem! I had so many ideas from reading it! Some I have made and some more to come! Thank you so much for all the inspiration!
Artist: Kim Herrera
From: California, USA
My inspiration came from my son who passed away 9/27/13 at age 21. “Weston’s Heart” made from sea pottery we collected together. Wes loved nature…the sun, the moon, the land, and will always be my bright sparkle! His weeping cleansed the land, but his thirst for life cracked over time. He strayed from the path but always attempted to be that sprout– trying, trying to push through– never forgetting the enthusiasm and eagerness of simpler times… Waiting for a new day. The ocean is where he found peace. On our trips to the beach, he quickly developed a passion for Seaglass and Tile! Wes is no longer weeping! No more wrong paths… Simpler times forever with all the Seaglass he wants!
The poem “Rebirth” by Dawn Whitehand communicates themes of growth and changing seasons, particularly springtime. My piece, titled “Pollinate”, is a watercolor painting of a bumblebee, which to me is a symbol or representation of the growth of all of the newness of spring. The bumblebee features one piece of brown sea glass painted with a single yellow stripe. This is quite different but from my usual nursery art but I wanted to take the opportunity to go out of my comfort zone with this challenge! :) Thank you Meg!
While reading this poem I envisioned an empty and barren sun, no longer shedding light. Its dead rays twisting from it until it met the earth. White sea Glass tear drops ride the rays to the ground. Brown sea glass acts as the earth layers of crossing metal bring to mind the cracked ground. Springing from the broken earth twisting tendrils of metal with green sea glass “leaves” rise up raising to the sky to meet one last sun ray signifying the hope of sun’s return.
The lines, “green sprouts battling dead earth win and burst forth soft fronds,” reminds me of the day when “spring has sprung,” and soon after, you see that first flower of the season. It is a symbol of hope, growth and optimism. It reminds us that we can be born again, turning the page of the past, stepping into the sun, arms raised high, welcoming a new day, a new season, and a new chapter.
Artist: Sue Archambault
Business: Flutterby Arts
From: North Carolina, USA
Supporting my daughter Meg is a thing that I always do, so in response to her sea glass challenge I created this quilted wall hanging. Dawn Whitehand’s poem started me thinking of the natural changes that occur with the return of Spring. A bag of flat sea glass collected by my husband and me on Deale Island several years ago reminded me of window panes and may have once been just that. A photo recently sent by my brother of the house we grew up in, taken through the window of the abandoned sheep barn behind the house, further inspired my work. Although I have been quilting for about fifteen years, I have done little with art quilts. There are so many techniques to try. The wallpaper was stenciled and tea dyed. The sky and wild flowers were created using small pieces of fabric in what is called watercolor painting even though watercolor paint is not used. Thread painting was used to quilt the piece together and add details. These were all new challenges for me to try. This quilt is named Abandoned Beauty, representing the beauty of nature and that of a weathered window.
The poem takes me back to early morning surfs just as the new day is beginning. Surfers refer to being in the tube as being reborn. It reminds them of being enclosed in the womb. My blue mermaids tears represent the bubbles in the sea and the milk glass piece is the surfer in the driftwood tube.
Being an avid gardener the poem brought to mind early Spring & the woodlot on the edge of my property. As the days warm, the earth slowly shifts, undulating, freezing and thawing. This war in nature is depicted in the frame of the pendant. Rather than a perfect static frame I have chosen an irregular one. Inside, the brown striped sea glass representing the earth, spews out sparkly bubbles of silver culminating with silver fronds & green sea glass reaching towards the sky. A small bird gently caresses the tallest frond. Dawn’s poem reminds me of the earth’s renewal. Winter’s drabness is finally replaced by a vibrant, colourful landscape, enjoyed by all God’s creatures.
Artist: Vanessa Ya Lopez
From: California, USA
To me the poem seemed to speak of the journey of seaglass metaphorically. I feel that the sea creates so many pieces of wonder, things from a to z. This is my interpretation.
Artist: Madeline Galbincea
From: Ohio, USA
I drew inspiration from the mention of ‘the chirp of eager wings’. Spring is a time of hope and new life. A mother bird watching lovingly over her eggs seemed appropriate, as the egg itself is symbolic of life and fertility.
Artist: Laura Delp
From: Pennsylvania, USA
I’m not sure how to describe the way I was inspired other than to say that while reading the poem a vision of this design came to mind. It was an almost immediate reaction. I sketched it, made it and altered it just a bit to better represent my vision. I love the imagery of “Rebirth”.
The emergence of a new day, facilitated by the sun bringing to light the infinite color palate the vast ocean provides. One can’t help but be inspired by the endless possibilities this new day may provide. The anticipation I feel thinking of the new treasures the sea has left me on its exposed shores is overwhelming. My mind and soul record the feeling I experience on my quest to see what nature has left for me. These are the thoughts and visions that inspire me with each unique piece I create. The shape, feel and texture of the glass help me to translate these images into my art. This poem echoes these feelings for me.
The poem speaks to me of the untamed goodness and spirit of the earth; its generous healing powers of both darkness and light. I envision the earth’s fertile moist grounds and the emerging profusion of color and scent stemming forth into the heart and passion of Spring.
Colored sea glass and natural elements were used to embody the story being told in the poem Rebirth, by Dawn Whitehand. Two clay beads are cleansed by macramé rain while a red sea glass marble personifies the sun. Blue and green sea glass are wire wrapped and hung meticulously to signify the “tears of the sun” and “green sprouts”. I handpicked each piece of sea glass on the pristine beaches of Guam, during the period of my life where I was struck by the death of my husband. This is when I was reborn to who I have become now.
In my work the piece of sea glass itself is usually the inspiration, so this was quite a challenge. The light bulb, so to speak, went off, with the words sun, bright and shadows. My entry features an old light bulb insulator piece of sea glass. It represents the connection with light and dark, with sun and shadows, and with death and rebirth. The pearl as always represents the surprise of finding a treasure – a new day!
Recreating an image of spring on a window looking out at spring was my inspiration for this piece of artwork. The double landscape serves to bring focus to the lone purple flower and green sprout. While the window was not sea glass, each piece adhered was found in the Virginia Beach area.
Our piece is inspired by the journey of growth and change. Rebirth doesn’t happen in an instant. It’s a process of renewal, refinement, and transformation. As we journey, we experience, we learn, we evolve. The sea glass in our piece shifts from dark green to white in incremental steps, echoing the movement from old to new, saturated to pure. It is meant to be worn as a reminder that renewal is happening all around us, in steps and stages, and to embrace the flow.
I was really inspired by the word, “rivulets” as well as the idea of newness and growth. My study of horticultural science and landscape design definitely influence my aesthetic; I am often inspired by the wondrous beauty of nature. The gold-filled wire represents warmth – like golden rays of sunlight. I also wanted to use a soft green hued piece of sea glass to symbolize the blossom of plant life. The gold wire loop design on the chain is my interpretation of rivulets in the water while the two small cobalt blue pieces of sea glass suggest fresh flowing water.
Artist: Danita Sawler
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
The poem inspired me to create a painting with sea glass of my sister’s property. Her property is located in Martin’s Point, NS. The wooded area is situated next to where I reside. In the summertime the forest is alive with butterflies, insects and other bugs. As kids we’d travel through her property, the greenery, mossy areas and the swaying ferns remind me of the poem by Dawn Whitehand.
Artist: Heather Snow
Business: The Old Dog and the Sea
From: California, USA
Sea glass reminds me that what was once old, dirty, and discarded can now be created into something new, beautiful, and meaningful.
While white seaglass is one of the most common colors in terms of rarity, I chose to use white seaglass in this piece because the color white is the reflection of all colors and represents balance, as in life and death, birth and rebirth. I chose to design an infinity ring to represent how life is a cycle.
For me personally, the ability to create seaglass jewelry really has been kind of a reinvention of myself. I worked for the federal government for 15 years until my boss retired in 2013. Suddenly, I found myself working as a paralegal and making jewelry on the side. But as of July 2015, I have been fortunate enough to earn a living making jewelry full time and I absolutely love my life. Everyday I wake up and I make pretty things that make people happy and that makes me happy.
Artist: Theresa Matthews
Business: Par La Mer Australia
From: NSW, Australia
We live in such a pristine beautiful country here in Australia and have some amazing beauty thrown to our shores. Reclaiming her beauty and repurposing into something of recycled treasure.
From: Falkenberg, Halland, Sweden
To me, the poem is about letting creativity out to flourish. About this time last year I started thinking about what I truly love to do, what gives me energy and what inspires me. I realized that what I love is the shoreline. I love to go for walks near the ocean, any time of year. I also love to look for treasures there, and think about where they come from, what they used to be and how they ended up where I found them. Realizing this, I started taking pictures on my walks to make an archive of beach finds. I created an Instagram account dedicated to my best finds. Through Instagram I discovered that there are plenty of people around the globe who like the same things as me. Some of my Instagram friends show pictures of fantastic creations made of sea glass and drift wood, my favourite treasures to find since I was a kid. I started thinking that I too can be creative like that. Since then, I have tried different crafts. I use copper wire to wrap pieces of sea glass, and make wall hangings and sun catchers out of beach finds. My dream is to learn silver smithing. For the Carter Sea Glass Design Challenge 2016, I am entering a sun catcher I made using a drift wood branch, pieces of sea glass and some cotton string. Thank you Meg and Dawn and all beach combing friends for the great inspiration!
I took a more literal approach using the poem. Originally, I had envisioned a complete different design, but as I got going, it took on its own mind and shape. As I was reading the poem, I was imagining what to use for sea glass. The first piece that came to mind was the yellow that I used as a centerpiece. It was absolutely perfect; housing a pattern that flowed across it like a sunrise. As I read down further, “bubbled sparkling bright” put the color blue into my mind. I found the brightest of blues and laid them inside my “bubbles.” The bright greens represent the “green sprouts,” that burst into daisies. In short, my piece represents the light of the sun shining upon the natural beauty of the Earth, giving hope and life with the touch of every ray, even on the darkest of days.
Artist: Dan Carr
Business: North Coast Beachcombers
From: Ohio, USA
Artist: Taylor Denise
From: New Jersey, USA
Dawn’s poem “rebirth” really inspired many creative ideas for me. I really liked the section of the poem describing the creek beds “rivulets cascading gurgled, filling thirsty creekbeds, cracked furrows created over time, now bubbled sparkly bright”. These lines of the poem made me envision cracked dry land filling with water and as it filled the cracks would fill first. The imagery of sparkly water filling a crack inspired my final piece of jewelry. To create this bracelet, I used sterling silver to create the “dirt” which raises up on each side of where a “crack” has formed. Aqua, cobalt and white sea glass represent the water paired with cubic zirconia stones showing the “sparkle” of the water. The wire intertwined among the glass and stones is suggesting movement and flowing of the water. I really enjoyed this project not only for myself and own creative challenge, but also meeting and joining with other sea glass artists for one joint project. Creating a work of art together has been a wonderful experience.