Waves crashing into snow-covered beaches and the brisk chill sweeping in from the Atlantic Ocean provide the perfect backdrop for the artistic expression of the New England Seacoast. This is what drew Julie Gordon, owner and founder of Seascape Creations, to start giving window art lessons around the coast.
“It’s just a great way to celebrate living by the shore and that’s what makes it unique,” she said. “A lot of people have their own collections of sea glass sitting in jars in their homes — I wanted a way to better display them. Windows are perfect. The ocean becomes your canvas and it allows you to capture and recreate the beauty and movement of the sea. It’s a way to celebrate living and playing by the sea.”
Gordon will be at The Seaglass Restaurant in Salisbury Monday, Nov. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. conducting a workshop that will help guests create sea- and holiday-themed 8”x10” seascape windows. Guests are invited to bring their own memorabilia or use the pieces provided to create their own decorative window.
Give your art to a loved one this holiday season or keep it for yourself as a new festive decoration, said Gordon.
“Some people come with the intent of making a gift for someone special. What happens then is that they end up wanting to keep it for themselves, but they do make really nice and unique gifts,” she said. “Some people end up keeping them for themselves and use them as holiday décor, and some tell me that they keep their pieces up year-round just because they just love looking at them.”
Templates will be provided to help spark ideas, but Gordon urges that the real inspiration typically comes from the waves rolling up to the side of the Seashell Restaurant, or the sunset over the Atlantic.
“Seaglass was one of the very first venues we started offering on the list and it’s one of my very favorite places to teach because of the ocean setting — it’s really inspiring,” she said. “It’s just a perfect place for people to relax, take a break and create something beautiful that’s made from nature. It’s such an inspiring atmosphere because you’re surrounded by the ocean.”
The lessons are available for all ages, and Gordon notes that the best work often comes from the youngest children and those who go about their work uninhibitedly.
“You don’t have to be artistic, that’s the nice thing because everything you’re working with is already beautiful,” said Gordon. “There’s no step-by-step complicated directions that you need to follow. We provide guidance and support, but in the end, you’ll be guiding yourself.”
Gordon believes that art is personal in nature, so she is there only to provide assistance when called upon. Gordon wants guests to be as hands-on and independent as possible when creating their pieces.
“It allows people to create what they want to create. They get to create the way that they want to create. In my opinion, that’s how art should be,” she said. “Guests will essentially create their piece from start to finish.”
Gordon says that in the four years of teaching she has never seen a piece that hasn’t come out beautifully.
“We don’t let people leave unless they’re absolutely thrilled with their art,” she said. “People end up being really surprised and thrilled and proud of their creations.”
Following the lesson, guests will be sent home with their window and a simple curing kit to complete and solidify their piece.
“The reason we don’t do it there is because it takes 24 hours to cure where it should be left undisturbed so it’s best if they do it at home,” said Gordon. “That part is super easy to do. We give them the kit, we explain it to them before they leave, there are instructions in the kit and they can call us if they have any questions but we’ve never had anybody have any problems.”
The workshop costs $50 per person and includes $5 off a Seaglass meal ordered while attending the lesson. For more information on Seascape Creation workshops, or to sign up for one of your own, visit seascapecreations.com.
— Andrew Clay