Beachcombers can now share their collected treasures from the shore and learn more about naturally polished sea glass on October 8th and 9th in Long Branch, New Jersey.
The North American Sea Glass Association will bring its annual national festival to New Jersey for the first time this fall. Open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday the Ocean Place Resort and Spa will host the 6th annual North American Sea Glass Festival. The event draws collectors, artisans, authors and beachcombers from around the world. In recent years the annual event had been held in Santa Cruz, California, Lewes, Delaware, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Admission is $5.00 daily with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Clean Ocean Action organization in New Jersey.
Over 50 artists and designers who work with sea glass will show and sell their wares while experienced glass experts will be on hand to help identify and date shards for curious visitors. Lectures relative to beachcombing and sea glass will be presented both days at various times. On Sunday the “Shard of the Year” contest will award a $1,000 check for the most beautiful and rare piece of sea glass presented for judging.
The term “sea glass” refers to pieces of old, discarded glass that have been naturally tumbled and weathered along the shore. Its beautiful frosted patina and range of colors, in addition to the rarity and history of older pieces, have fueled the popularity of sea glass collecting and the use of the shards in jewelry, mosaics and other arts and crafts.
Today’s collectors are also drawn by the ecological allure—recycling at its best—and by its appeal as an outdoor activity that bring families together for generations.