The festival was the brainchild of Karla Rodriguez-Moran, who quickly picked up the hobby after moving to Saint John in 2019.
“I got obsessed with sea glass so I started making little things… little necklaces, and giving them away to my friends from church, and they said ‘you should sell these,’” she said.
After attending a sea glass festival on Campobello Island last year, Rodriguez-Moran decided to put on something similar in Saint John. She expected limited interest, but quickly heard from 50 vendors.
Already hoping to run the festival again next year, Rodriguez-Moran said people came from all three Maritime provinces and even heard some made the trip from Maine.
“I never thought it would be a big thing. I was hoping to get ten people together,” she said.
The goods on offer ranged from jewelry and art pieces, to photographs and wood crafts.
Kim Tobin was one of the vendors, a lifelong collector, she began crafting out of necessity.
“My husband looked at all the stuff and said you gotta do something with this or get rid of it, so I started making the jewelry,” she said.
Tobin was pleased to see the turnout, particularly the number of interesting vendors.
“You have no idea if it’s going to be something that people also enjoy as much as I do and it’s been so much fun seeing all the different stuff—everybody is so creative.”
The festival was an introduction to the hobby for some who were previously unfamiliar with it.
“I have always lived by the sea and never thought about it,” said Pauline Taylor who attended the festival.
“I’ve seen these little pieces of glass, I didn’t realize it was sea glass. It’s amazing what they can do with it,” Bill Taylor said.
But what is it that keeps collectors hooked? Many say it’s the thrill of the chase. Others, the peaceful nature of the beach.
For Rodriguez-Moran, it’s what the treasures represent.
“Sea glass represents transformation. Something that was trash one time and becomes something beautiful,” she said.
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