LHS to host Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival June 28-29

Tickets on sale now for annual event
June 11, 2014

The Lewes Historical Society announces the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and  29, at the Lewes Historic Complex at 110 Shipcarpenter St. in Lewes. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday.

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Admission to the festival is $5 per person and children under 12 free; a wrist band will be issued allowing entrance both days. Wristbands can be purchased in advance beginning Memorial Day weekend in Lewes at Sand ‘n’ Stones on Front Street or the society’s Museum Gift Shop at the Ryves Holt House at Second and Mulberry streets.

Last year, the Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival attracted over 4,000 visitors. 2014 is the fifth year for this event. It will feature more than 70 sea glass artists joined by other coastal artists  including decoy carvers and waterfowl artists. Festive live music is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday with steel drum player Jimmy G, sponsored by Bershire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty. Casa Amici will provide festival fare all weekend.

Also this year, Saturday, June 28, free featured presentations will be held at St. Peter's Church Hall at 211 Mulberry St. From 11a.m. to noon, Kristen Qualls of Wheaton Arts will present "The Art of Glassblowing."

Washing up on shore is only one step in the journey of a piece of sea glass. This talk will describe the steps of creating a handmade glass object, covering different techniques used for coloring, shaping, and decorating the glass. Placed in the context of the history of American glass, the aim is to bring the audience to an even greater appreciation of the beauty of glass.

Qualls is the director of exhibitions and collections at WheatonArts and Cultural Center in Millville, N.J. She provides leadership and curatorial vision to the Museum of American Glass while strengthening its connection to the WheatonArts Glass Studio, an onsite working glass hot shop. With a collection of over 16,000 pieces, from Colonial-era jars from the earliest successful glass factory in Alloway, N.J., to the contemporary art of the Creative Glass Center of America’s fellowship program, the museum is the largest dedicated to the preservation, display, and study of American glass.

From 1 to 2 p.m., photographer Kevin Fleming will speak on his experiences creating his book "The Beach." "The Beach" captures wildlife, nature, and the beauty of coastal Delaware. Fleming shows nature's quiet moments with so many stunningly beautiful landscapes. After the presentation, he will answer questions and sign copies of his book.

Fleming has covered the world as a photographer for National Geographic. A Lewes resident, he has photographed the diverse wildlife living in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia area, which is reflected in his book, "Wild Delmarva." He also recently created a photographic history book, "Landmarks and Legacies," which features 50 of Delaware's historic points of interest.

From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Richard LaMotte, author of "Pure Sea Glass," will speak on his book about collecting sea glass, and the sea glass rarity scale. "Solving Sea Glass Mysteries" will help answer many of the questions collectors ponder and assist those who wish to do more research to develop their own skills. Visitors will learn why some colors are so rare and others quite common.

LaMotte is president of the North American Sea Glass Association. His award-winning book on sea glass has sold over 100,000 copies and features Annapolis, Md. photographer Celia Pearson. He has been featured in newspapers around the country including the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun; in magazines such as Coastal Living, Parade Magazine, Delaware Beach Life, and appeared on "The Martha Stewart Show" and Maryland Public Television.

Sea glass can be found all over the world, but the beaches of the northeast United States, California, northwest England, Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, Italy and southern Spain are famous for their bounty of sea glass, bottles, bottle lips and stoppers, art glass, marbles, and pottery shards. The best times to look are during spring tides and during the first low tide after a storm.

With greater environmental awareness, there has been a decline in naturally occurring sea glass, creating a great market for expensive and rare pieces.

For more details about the Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival or for more information on The Lewes Historical Society, contact 302-645-7670 or go to

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