Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting to Know WestCoast SeaGlass



Tell us a bit about yourself and your art life: My name is Mary Beth and I’ve lived along the Pacific Ocean shores and have been a serious sea glass collector most all of my life. I’ve created jewelry as a hobby most all my life also. So, about twelve years ago, I paired my vintage, rare collection with my jewelry design and create full time now, from the two West Coast Sea Glass studios. My studio sits on the beach where I look out at the water and the San Juan Islands all day. I now have a staff of four that creates and sells our jewelry and loose sea glass in galleries and shows all over the world.

What is sea glass: Well, my website says: “Sea glass is a timeless treasure. It begins its journey as refuse glass that was broken then discarded into the sea decades ago. The piece is swept and carried as powerful elements of sand, tide, water and weather perform their renewing work over time and terrain. The colorful jewel washes up on the shore and waits to be discovered.” Sea glass is valued not by how much one can find but often by sentimental or nostalgic value; by the age, color and quality of the piece. I’ve hand-collected these pieces all of my life and now my collection consists of historical pieces and color that just cannot be found any longer.

How did you get into selling it: I began pairing the sea glass with my already established jewelry design when a friend asked me to make her a necklace from an aqua blue piece. She bought it and ordered nine more for Christmas gifts. It hasn’t slowed down since. Just this month, I completed an order for one thousand pieces for a high end resort in Miami, Florida. The loose sea glass gems that I sell from my Etsy store or website are pieces that I would consider “overstock” or something I cannot use in my designs; many of them are the coveted blues and “colors of the sea” that stir the creative side of people. I sell them to crafts people, jewelers and artists all over the world.

What is one thing that most of us don’t know about you: I am a twin, I have a set of twins and my twin sister has twins. Twins are nowhere else in the history of my family on either side. My family often accompanies me on my sea glass excursions.

What was one 2008 highlight with your business: The Travel Channel recently flew me to California where I met their TV crew on an island. I kayaked about as their zodiac boat followed me and filmed. We stopped on a beach, sea glass hunted and I shared stories of history and identified some pieces.
Please visit Mary Beth at her Etsy store at: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5165879 Please visit Mary Beth's Sea Glass Blog at: http://seaglassblog.blogspot.com/

5 comments:

Bee Square Fabrics said...

Lovely article. That sea glass looks delicious! I have to think of how I can use it so I can buy it all up from you.

Krazy Kate Designs said...

Wow, I didn't know all that. What a dream for a studio! Congrats to you on your success. When is the show airing?

Denise said...

Congats on your feature Mary Beth. You have a fabulous shop and great jewelry. I drool (and covet) looking at all those luscious, unique seaglass colors you find!

kim* said...

you cant find that near my beachs in ca.

Rocki said...

I would love to have studio surroundings like that! I've always loved sea glass as it is one of many natural beauties of the world.

Very enjoyable post and love her shop!
Rocki