Chesapeake College holds first Sea Glass Festival

Submitted to the Dorchester Banner/Zoe Phillips
The colors, shapes and even the history of sea glass make the material enticing for many artists.

WYE MILLS — Saturday was a special day for sea glass artisans up and down the East Coast, as it was the date of the first Chesapeake Sea Glass Festival at Chesapeake College. Sea glass is broken glass that people pick up on beaches and shorelines across the globe, and vendors like the ones at the Chesapeake Sea Glass Festival turn sea glass into jewelry, pictures, and various works of art.

As bottles and other things made of glass end up in bodies of water, the waves, rocks, and sand break them into pieces and make them smooth after long periods of time. The Chesapeake Sea Glass Festival proved that one person’s trash really can be another person’s treasure.

The festival on Saturday contained about 40 vendors. A portion of the proceeds are being donated to multiple animal shelters as well as Kitty City Rescue.

Frannie Phillips, the organizer of the show, dedicated much of her time to make the event a success, and it paid off. The festival was a great event for both sea glass lovers and those who had no prior knowledge on the subject.

To learn more about what can be found on beaches here on the Eastern Shore, visitors could listen to lectures featuring Mary McCarthy and Terry Crannell. Mary McCarthy, a well-known sea glass enthusiast, spoke about the Chesapeake Bay, and Terry Crannell, from the Dorchester Historical Society, informed people about Native American artifacts found on beaches here. In addition to this, visitors could bring their own shards of glass to have them identified.

Overall, the response from vendors and visitors was quite positive. More than 1,000 people came to the college to shop and learn more about sea glass. Some of the vendors in the festival have been doing craft fairs similar to this one for many years, and people were amazed to see what can be found in the sand of a beach.

For many people, it is the history behind the glass that makes them want to collect pieces of their own. One dark blue piece could have been a medicine bottle that saved someone’s life, or a bright red piece could have been an ornate candy dish. Every piece has its own story to tell, and you never know what you’re going to find.

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