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Inside the Making of Sea Glass Jewelry

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Most people walk down the beach looking out at the sea, up at the sky, or toward the far-off horizon, taking in nature and contemplating the peacefulness of the scene as they saunter along. Not jewelry maker Lauren Rogoff, who walks with her head down, busily hunting for beautiful or unique pieces of sea glass to use in her jewelry line. After meeting Lauren at a local craft fair in Chelsea, I had the opportunity to find out a little more about her and her jewelry.

When did you start making jewelry?

I’ve been making jewelry since I was a little girl. My grandfather was a jeweler, so as I grew up, jewelry making was high up in the rotation of arts and crafts that I loved.

How did you come up with the idea for your  jewelry line?

I grew up in Belle Harbor, on Rockaway Beach in New York City, and I always picked up sea glass whenever I saw a piece; my parents, who still live in Rockaway, collect sea glass on their morning walks. One day I got a flash of inspiration and set about figuring out how to make jewelry using sea glass. After much trial and error, I created something that I think is beautiful and unique.

Does most of your inspiration come from your hometown beach? 

Yes, but I’m constantly thinking of new ideas, and I’m especially inspired by travel and by the shape and texture of individual pieces of glass. Each piece has such history. I love finding pieces of glass and ceramic that maintain some of their old character—bits of writing or texture that give hints as to what they might have been in past lives, like beer bottles, perfume bottles, china, teacups, or decorative objects. Just think: Some of these pieces of glass have been tumbling around the ocean floor for years, even decades, and who knows how far they’ve traveled? That’s really where my passion comes from.

What do you love most about making jewelry?

Honestly, I love pretty much every aspect of it. Actually creating the jewelry itself is completely addictive. I love to learn and continually experiment and practice new techniques. I also enjoy the way every piece is unique, and the way that a piece of my jewelry can bring such happiness to its wearer. It’s so satisfying when a customer tries on a necklace and falls in love. Also, ever since my town was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, I have been proud that my jewelry offers a little piece of Rockaway Beach to everyone who wears it, and that I’m able to give proceeds back to relief efforts.

To see more of Lauren’s work, check out her store on Etsy!

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