I make a point to use glass that I have collected. Once I made the mistake of buying some and it became clear as soon as I got it home that it was tumbled. That all ended up in my garden or in the trash.
It’s not about where, it’s about when. Generally speaking, the best sea glass is found way off the summer months. In the summer, the beaches are filled with treasure hunters and there’s no foul weather to kick up the new harvest of glass. In terms of where, any working harbor is the best place – and of course right here in Gloucester is where I have found my glass over 20 years.
As mentioned earlier, all Sea Glass is authentic, found on the shores of Cape Ann and occasionally foreign locations! The sea glass is being used without tumbling or polishing. Findings for earrings are sterling or 14K gold filled. Wire is a mixture of artistic wire (mostly for hair accessories), sterling, gold, and brass for jewelry. Often artistic wire is used for additional security. Fresh water pearls, glass beads, shells, and other decorative elements are added to most pieces.
Most glass and pottery is initially epoxied to the finding (pin backing, barrette, etc..) with a very durable epoxy and then wrapped in wire for design & security. When pearls or beads are used decoratively, these are strung on the wire for security. Pendants and earrings undergo drilling and riveting in some of the designs. The practice of drilling glass is acceptable by the North East Sea Glass Association.
There are many books on sea glass that make good companions to sale of sea glass items, but these stand out– Passion for Sea Glass and Sea Glass Chronicles, by C.S. Lambert (Downeast Publishing) and Pure Sea Glass, by Richard LaMotte. Cape Ann Designs also sells companion books, notecards, etc.. at shows. Annually, there is a Sea Glass Festival held around the country which was started in Cape Ann. www.artsgloucester.com/seaglassfestival. For more resources, please see our sea glass resource page.