You don’t have to have coastal décor to appreciate sea-glass artwork in your home, says Danielle DeMelfi, owner of Simple Little Detail, a Brookhaven-based crafting shop, who hosts biweekly sea-glass workshops.
For Sabrina Kral those classes, which are held at That Meatball Place in Patchogue, are a godsend. Kral, 39, a stay-at-home mom who lives in Port Jefferson Station, has taken several sea-glass classes with DeMelfi, and even hosted parties at her own house, “because it forced me to do something for myself once a month.”
“It has given me a chance to unwind with my girlfriends and it gave us a night out,” says Kral, who either displays her sea glass designs around her house or gives them away as gifts.
Long Island sea-glass classes with a side of meatballs
Having sea-glass workshops at the restaurant has upped them from craft classes to nights out. “They’re able to get appetizers or dinner and drinks, and it’s kind of like a girl’s night,” DeMelfi says of the groups, which can run from 50 to 100 people.
After setting up a bar of beach glass, shells, dried flowers and other decorations, DeMelfi instructs on how to mix resin, add color and sparkle and drop the resin into a frame. She provides pictures that her students can try to replicate, or they can create their own designs and bring their own decorative embellishments.
“I have women that come with sand from vacations or shells from their wedding or their honeymoon or where they got engaged,” DeMelfi says.
The classes bring out everyone’s personal creativity.
“It’s not me printing a stencil and putting it on a sign and you’re painting it,” says DeMelfi. “And it’s not a chunky blanket, where I’m giving you instructions and you’re just making a blanket. It’s actually the thought process of what you want.”
Though classes in the restaurant setting have been a hit, DeMelfi plans to add a second, larger Simple Little Detail store at Bellport Outlets in late September, and will move her classes to the back of the new shop.
Sharing love of sea-glass
Robyn Romanoff, who owns RoRo’s Sea Glass Jewelry, is running two sea glass jewelry classes at Pindar Vineyard this summer and a bunch more at local libraries, where she teaches how to wire-wrap sea glass to make wearable pendants.
For each class, Romanoff furnishes all the supplies: assorted sea-glass, wire, crafting tools, two chains and nautical charms, which she assembles into a kit they get to keep.
“I want to encourage people to continue crafting after my class is over,” Romanoff says.
Classes typically run between 20 and 25 people, and are open to all ages.
A festival of sea-glass
On Aug. 7, the Whaling Museum will host the first Suffolk County Sea-Glass Festival. “We’ll have a glass-themed scavenger hunt, craft activities and a sea-glass jewelry workshop,” says Gina Van Bell, assistant director of the Cold Spring Harbor museum.
There’ll be presentations by sea-glass expert Mary McCarthy, executive director of The Beachcombing Center of Tilghman Island, Maryland, who will also be identifying glass people bring in and George Wm. Fisher, an expert on antiques glass bottles, who will do glass bottle appraisals. Local artists who work in the glass medium will be displaying and selling their work.
Attendees can take part in jewelry workshops with educators demonstrating techniques and assisting with crafting sea-glass necklaces or pendants.
Sea-glass is closely linked to the museum because of its many glass artifacts, such as glass oil lamps and ink pots, which were found in the homes of the mid-1800s, says Van Bell, adding that whale oil was used to light lamps and the lighthouse lights.
At the festival, Van Bell says, there’ll be something for people of all ages.
SEA-GLASS ART CLASSES ON LONG ISLAND
Simple Little Detail Sea Glass Workshop
WHEN | WHERE Aug. 10, 22, 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. at That Meatball Place, 54 W. Main St., Patchogue. Reservations required; 631-729-65092, simplelittledetail.com.
COST: $35, $50 or $60 for small, medium or large framed works. Price Includes all materials; food and drink are extra.
RoRo’s Sea Glass Jewelry Classes
WHEN | WHERE Sea Glass Workshop at Pindar Vineyards: Aug. 5, 5 to 6:30 p.m., 37645 NY-25, Peconic 631-734-6200, pindar.net;, 631-428-9743, rorosseaglass.com.
COST: $50 per person, includes materials.
Suffolk County Sea Glass Festival
WHEN | WHERE Aug. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Whaling Museum & Education Center, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor; 631-367-3416, cshwhalingmuseum.org.
COST: Admission, $10 per person; 3 and under, free; Additional $7 fee for the jewelry workshop; all materials will be provided.