Creative Workspaces

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sea glass artist beachcomber studio

Come on in!

We asked readers to show us their workspaces and you’re invited to come in and take a peek! Some beachcombers have a cottage or a whole room, and some have carved out a creative corner or a spot by a sunny window. We love seeing the inventive and beautiful ways you have made a beautiful space for arts, crafts, or just for displaying your favorite beach finds.

Lori-Lee Thomas

canadian beachcomber art studio she shed

“Well here is my ol’ studio space, located on our property, and what used to be a small livestock barn for goats and sheep when my in-laws lived here before us. It’s close to our house, which is convenient, and has a view of the lovely beach where I often frequent. I do everything here, from jewelry making, to painting, crafting, socializing, meditation, and flat lay photography. It’s spacious and cozy, especially in the winter when I can get the woodstove crackling. I would eventually like to redo the floors and add more shelving and storage because—let’s face it—all beachcombers need more storage. I share one wall with our chickens and rabbit hutches, so whenever I need a break, I go and pet a bunny or two. It’s rustic and perfect for this gal!”

Mary Louise Lauffer

virgin sea glass art and jewelry studio space

“I love my studio because I’m surrounded by my sea glass collections, which inspire me and eventually get used in my creations. It’s large enough to have different areas: soldering table, design table, stained glass area, drilling desk, and plenty of storage. Love my creative mess!”

Anne Davis

LC's Glass home art studio sea glass workshop

“I’ve enjoyed crafting from the time I was a young girl. My parents pinched every penny they could from my dad’s military wages while trying to raise, clothe, and feed six children, so there wasn’t much money for toys and frivolous things. My siblings and I found ways to entertain ourselves outside as we crafted toys from everyday household items and things we found in nature. Over the years, the kitchen table served as my crafting area as I embroidered, painted, decoupaged, refinished furniture, scrapbooked, decorated cakes and cookies, created Halloween costumes for the kids, and so much more.

“Sea glass is the most recent addition to my collection of crafting materials, introduced to me by my son, Kyle, known as Captain Ky, the Sea Glass Guy. His amazing collection of sea glass opened a whole new world of crafting to me, and I’ve truly appreciated learning about how to utilize my sea glass, sea metal, sea pottery, and shell collections, inspired by the crafts and art made by so many talented beachcombers that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the past few years. 

“I’ve set up a work area in my sunroom, jokingly dubbed “The Sea Glass Room” by family and friends. My husband built a huge row of handy storage cubbies to sort and display my materials, and the drawers of my desk hold paint, glue, and other crafting items and tools. The desk doubles as my workspace for invoicing, packing, and shipping, and the adjoining cabinet holds my packaging supplies. Kyle’s vast collection of sea glass is housed in a vintage printer’s cabinet, printer’s drawers, display cabinets, and nearly every nook and cranny in our home.

“My favorite thing about my crafting room is the view. From the large windows all around I can take in the beautiful, ever-changing views of the Virginia pastureland and mountain behind our home. If I could change anything about the space it would be to make it bigger; there’s never enough room for all the things I want to create and all the stuff it takes to make them”

beachcomber dogs with sea glass

“Our adorable puppy, Panna, loves to keep me company while I’m crafting or sorting. She enjoys licking the salt off the sea glass, and both she and her cousin, Primrose, make great models for my sea glass puppy ornaments as well. We are also temporarily caring for Ky’s 13-year old Yorkie, LC, while she is recuperating from a near fatal diagnosis of Cushings disease. LC has sailed with Ky for the past four years, and she’s been with him every step of the way as he beachcombs throughout the Caribbean. We are all hopeful that she can rejoin him soon and continue adventuring with him as he searches for sea glass in new destinations around the world.

“Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying having both LC and Panna around to keep things interesting, act as distractions when things get hectic, and to encourage me as I find new and imaginative uses for discarded items.” 

Alice Ahrens

sunny sea glass craft table for beachcomber workspace

“My sea glass crafting table is in my sunny Florida living room in front of three windows, so that I have plenty of light while creating. I use small bowls to separate my shells, sea glass and other materials. I do share my workspace with my two dogs, Shadow and Piper.”

Chris Ann Buday

beachcomber bag sewing workshop space

“Here’s my happy place! It’s my little piece of heaven.”

Wendy Frye

sea glass jeweler back yard studio workspace she shed

“I used to work in our garage, with extreme heat in the summer and cold in the winter. My husband, Derol, built my studio from scratch for me. The big windows and the door came from a friend’s kitchen remodel, the tiny front window was sitting in my parents’ backyard, and the jeweler’s bench came from a jewelry school that closed down. The middle work bench pulls out so I can work on both sides if I need to. One of my favorite features is the 11-foot-long shelf to hold all of my supplies. The fireplace is electric, so I have heat in the winter time. Because I’m over six feet tall, I love the vaulted ceilings—and you can’t beat the natural light. Derol planned all of this out and it took him two years to build. It’s my happy place, my little sea cottage.”

Beth Mallory

sea glass artist studio worktable with cat

“This is my main workspace, made up of a large old teacher’s desk from what was the Avonia Schoolhouse in Fairview, Pennsylvania, and a very handy old dental cabinet or unknown origin. I chose this area as my workspace because of the great natural light. I find it’s the best light to work in, as it creates the least amount of glare and shadows.

“This space works for me, because all the natural light allows me to see what I’m working on well. The set up also makes it possible to spread out when creating, while also having easy access to my supplies via my very-organized cabinet. The many shallow drawers make it easy to grab what I need without doing a lot of digging around. What would make my workspace better is more space so I could keep additional supplies close at hand.

“When I bring out the resin, I have to put my cat Oliver in another room, as he enjoys sitting very nearby while I’m doing all my work. When he gets bored, he will often borrow beach glass, shells, and small pieces of driftwood to play with.”

Jill Quigley

studio space built into corner of house for sea glass

“Four years ago, my husband and I realized a lifelong dream by moving to the coast, settling in Half Moon Bay, California. It was a challenge to downsize, but I created a space for a table to sew and do my artwork. The paneling was dark—it took two coats of primer and two coats of white paint to cover the walls.

“I became enamored with beachcombing and stored the sea glass I collected in jars. One day I found a bottom of a Coca-Cola bottle with San Jose, the city in which I was born, embossed on it. I decided to keep this beautiful aqua sea glass for my sister because she collects Coca-Cola memorabilia. My interest in sea glass led me to attend the Santa Cruz Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival and it was there that I signed up for a subscription to Beachcombing magazine, which introduced me to a world of other beachcombing enthusiasts.

“During the lockdown from the pandemic in March of 2020, I received my Beachcombing magazine with a tutorial on creating a bowl using a stained-glass method, with sea glass. Would it be possible for me to create a bowl for my sister using the aqua sea glass? I watched some YouTube videos on soldering, which I had never done before, ordered the supplies on Amazon, practiced, and the result was a success. By viewing my workspace, you can see I just kept on going with my sea glass creations.”

Linda Schnell 

beautiful sea glass display wall and art studio washington

“I love being in this cheerful work space with eclectic finds from around the world! They remind me of the beautiful people and places that inspire my sea glass and mixed media art.”

Gina Olkowski

wardrobe that converts into seashell and sea glass office armoire

Gina’s workspace was the original inspiration for this story. She shared how she made the seashell string lights over her desk in the last issue of Beachcombing and we wanted to share her innovative creative space with others. She has decorated her desk space with a sea glass quilt she learned how to make from Allie McCathren.

artwork made with beachcomber shells and sea glass

The seahorse and sea star mosaics were from a craft workshop at the Virtual Beachcombing Festival during the pandemic and her shell collages were her first-ever pieces. With accessories from Sand Cloud and prints from Ophiurodea, she has the perfect space for her creative work.

cat looking at sea glass display case

Thanks to everyone who shared a peek into their creative spaces. Beth Mallory’s name was randomly selected and she received a beachcombing display case. She’s filled it with antique bottles, beach glass, sea marbles, seashells, and even a mini beach scene in the bottom drawer. Looks like Oliver approves!

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine November/December 2022 issue.

Looking for more fun ways to craft with your beach finds?

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