NASGA's Board of Directors:
RICHARD LA MOTTE, PRESIDENT
Instrumental in the formation of the North American Sea Glass Association, Richard LaMotte has become well known to those in the sea glass community for his well received 2004 book Pure Sea Glass, which he published himself under Sea Glass Publishing. Richard grew up in southeastern Virginia and has made frequent trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for over four decades. He currently resides on Maryland's Eastern Shore where his wife, Nancy, started a sea glass jewelry business using shards from the nearby Chesapeake Bay. While researching glass history for a lecture in 2002, he began to pursue answers to questions posed by his wife's customers. This led to more extensive research into glass colors, as well as the physics and chemistry behind the glass forms found in a shoreline environment. Since 1984, Richard has worked for a water analysis company with products that rely heavily on detailed color matching and has written two consumer handbooks on water testing. Pure Sea Glass won an International Award for non-fiction. In their March 2006 issue, Writers' Digest announced it as a first place winner in their 13th Annual International Self-Publishing Book Competition.
VALERIE WESTON, VICE PRESIDENT
After my family and I moved to Florida in 2002 I became fascinated with collecting sea glass; the mysterious origins of sea glass just captivated my imagination. I quickly discerned that there was a huge difference between genuine sea glass and manufactured glass and began to educate myself on the origins of sea glass and ways to identify the real deal. I studied everything I could find, though information on sea glass was hard to come by at that time. In 2007 I created some sketches of pendants using some of the seaglass from my collection. I was always sketching things, but I couldn't get the pendants out of my head and decided I needed to do something about my ideas. I realized that I needed to know a lot more about metals fabrication. In 2008 I studied at the metals studios at the Art Center in St. Petersburg and the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo, Florida until I was able to master the skills I needed to create my "vision" of a sea glass and sterling silver pendant. Despite 30 years of being a "craft addict," my husband Paul looked thoughtfully at my first eight sea glass pendants, the kiln, the torch I had set up in the corner of the garage, the tools and sheet silver steadily arriving via UPS, and began sketching out a studio which he built for me in 2008. We launched Suncoast Sea Glass to showcase the original jewelry I design and fabricate featuring genuine sea glass. The beautiful combination of sea glass, fine silver textures, freshwater pearls and sterling silver has generated a creative passion I have never experienced. When I went online to see what other artists were doing with sea glass I found NASGA and was thrilled to discover such a community existed! As a commercial member, I'm honored to serve on NASGA's Board of Directors and support its missions of genuine sea glass education and shoreline restoration.
STEPHANIE SWAIN, TREASURER
I currently live in Madison, Ohio, with my husband Barry. I fell in love with sea glass in 2007 after moving to our home on Lake Erie. Then, after collecting sea glass for years and upon retiring from my public school district Treasurer’s position I decided to start creating my sea glass art. After two years of researching techniques and products I found a product and process I was happy with and began creating and selling my mosaics, cards and small pictures. Presently, I work from home doing my art work and selling it at art festivals, online at Sea Glass Heart Art and to other’s stores. I became a member of the NASGA last year when I started my online store and festival participation. I am committed to the use of only genuine sea glass and the education of natural sea glass and the preservation of our shore lines. I am proud to be apart of the NASGA and the sea glass community and honored to serve as NASGA’s Treasurer as it moves forward.
DOTTIE GILBO, RECORDING SECRETARY
I grew up a few blocks from the shores of Lake Erie and enjoyed picking up the pretty gems and putting them in a jar. I never thought, that later in life, I would be using those gems to make jewelry. I started making simple jewelry with the beach glass, doing home parties and selling to friends and family. Then I took silversmithing classes and became skilled at making bezeled rings and necklaces. When I discovered Precious Metal Clay, I took a class and loved how much fun it was to work with and how creative you can be. I incorporate the beach and sea glass from all over the world with the PMC to make beautiful silver jewelry. I'm retired now, became my own boss of DMG Creations and I'm having fun making jewelry. With the help of my husband, I participate in 12 to 15 art and craft shows a year. I also sell my jewelry in several local shops. I am a commercial member of the NASGA and currently on the board serving as the recording secretary. I also enjoy educating people about authentic beach and sea glass in my travels.
A lifelong beach combing and sea glass collector, Sue often turned her treasures into art, both wearable and not. She was educated in teaching and fine metals, and for a while, she was able to balance her full time teaching career with time to create and sell her sea glass jewelry. The decision to live aboard a small sailboat with her husband and toddler so they could sail down and up the east coast forced Sue to give up teaching but allowed her more time to devote to jewelry making and more coastline to devote to sea glass collecting, continuing to sell her jewelry to support her sea glass picking habit.
Many years later and firmly back on land in RI, Suegray Jewelry continues to grow. It can be found on her website, in many shops, a catalog company, and at art festivals. She has been featured in several publications and received "best in show" for her "watercolors" sea glass tapestry. She continues to collect sea glass locally and travels with her family to hunt to sea glass as often as possible. Suegray enjoys being a part of the NASGA sea glass community and is happy to continue to serve on the NASGA board, helping to get things done, including acting as liaison to the NASGA web site, so if members have questions or need to make changes, contact suegray.
My lifelong love of the ocean began as a child when most of our family vacations involved a trip to the beach. When I was twelve, my dad, a southern California native and retired Air Force officer, moved our family to Indiatlantic, Florida, a small beach town on a barrier island off the east coast of Florida. After years of beachcombing, I started making jewelry for myself using my finds and later consigned jewelry at a local gift shop.
I met my husband, an Arizona native, at the University of Florida, where we were both studying law. When we moved to Phoenix for work, I packed up all of my beach treasures and brought them with me. Over the years, I continued to take art and craft classes to balance the practice of law. My favorite was jewelry metalworking, and I started to make jewelry again with my shell and sea glass collection.
I met Christeena (Hockin-Minopetros) selling her sea glass jewelry at the Big Pine Key Flea Market in December 2007, while I was there visiting my sister. Christeena told me about NASGA, so I checked it out and attended my first festival in Lewes, Delaware, in 2008. I loved it, learned a lot, and met great people. My company, The Marooned Crab joined NASGA as a commercial member in 2011 and I continued to attend the annual festivals. When the Board reached out for new members, I thought it was time to give back to an organization that I have really enjoyed and whose mission I believe in, so that is my goal as a board member.
As a child, Lisa Hall spent her summers on the Cranberry Isles of Maine beach combing and creating with the sea glass that she found on the pebbly shores. After graduating Sarah Lawrence College, she studied fine jewelry techniques in Florence, Italy. When she returned home, she moved year round to the Cranberry Isles and began designing and making her line of jewelry using only the natural sea glass found on the local beaches. Her work is found all around the country as well as in her retail shop and studio, Lisa Hall Jewelry, in Northeast Harbor, Maine. She and her family now split their time between the Cranberry Isles and Mount Desert Island.
Kim Hannon is the co-owner of Ophiuroidea and co-founder of the Eastern Shore Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival, located in St. Michaels, Maryland. Kim lives with her husband and son near the Chester River in Grasonville, Maryland. Kim's love of beachcombing started at an early age while living near Cape May, New Jersey as a child but it wasn't until many years later walking along the shorelines of the Chesapeake Bay that she got the sea glass bug. Called sea glass, or more specific, bay glass, the close proximity to numerous old historic ferry and dump locations along the bay, as well as the once very industrial Baltimore, bay glass can still be found rather easily along the Chesapeake Bay. Ophiuroidea opened in 2010 and started with one sea glass jewelry artisan. Each year they increased their sea glass artisans to feature in the shop from jewelers to mosaic artists, all working with sea glass. The idea of showcasing the numerous sea glass artisans in a festival type setting came along in 2011 and the Eastern Shore Sea Glass Festival was born. Being an artist herself, finding new artists is exciting and each year the festival brings more artisans to feature in Ophiuroidea year round.
Kim's philosophy on collecting sea glass is based first on the thrill and solitude of the hunt, followed by learning it's history and the sea glass journey. It is what inspires all sea glass collectors and it is what drives us to seek more sea glass and learn about each piece found. While having the extreme pleasure of working with the NASGA board, Kim hopes to not only share her love of sea glass but also educate on the rarity and value of sea glass.
Kim believes having a diverse NASGA board, each having different areas of sea glass expertise and devotion is essential in growing the NASGA membership, with a focus on marketing the love and education of sea glass to collectors across the globe.
Jewelry designer, photographer, and award winning floral designer, Christeena is the owner of Sea Glass Jewels and Company. An avid sea glass collector since her youth at the Jersey Shore, Christeena now devotes her time and passion to finding unique an beautiful sea glass in the Greek Isles. Her newly released book, Sea Glass, A Photographic Journey, showcases her photos of some of rare and colorful beach finds. Christeena's jewelry designs are unique, one-of-a -kind pieces, handcrafted using her sea glass treasures with sterling silver. She and her husband spend their winters in the Florida Keys and summers in Greece where her husband is a sailing boat captain.
Award-winning author C.S. Lambert spent 11 years abroad as an editor at the International Herald Tribune, Glasnost, and United Press International. She taught journalism at the American University in Paris, as well as l’École Supérieur de Commerce. After too many words and too many paragraphs, she moved back to the United States and vowed never to write again. During the following 6 months, she walked the beaches of Massachusetts, and while considering a new career, rediscovered sea glass. Her obsession with local maritime history, and the sea glass that evolved from it, resulted in four books: Sea Glass Chronicles; A Passion for Sea Glass; Sea Glass Hunters’ Handbook; and Sea Glass Crafts. She continues to write for numerous magazines and newspapers, and two more books are forthcoming. She has searched for sea glass around the world and now lives in coastal Maine, which offers prime hunting grounds.