DIY: Beach Glass Becomes Wall Art by

Issue 34 · Chasing Fireflies · August 28, 2014

DIY: Beach Glass Becomes Wall Art

Issue 34 · Chasing Fireflies · August 28, 2014

We've all been there. Enticed by the natural beauty of pebbles, shells, and other treasures tumbled by the sea, we spend our beach vacations collecting to our hearts' content. Then we get home. Now what do with all that flotsam and jetsam?

Artist and photographer Jennifer Steen Booher of Quercus Design has a bright idea. An avid beachcomber herself, the year-round Bar Harbor resident has spent years turning her foraging finds into timeless images. One misty morning in Maine, my family and I were fortunate enough to meet up with Jenn at Hulls Cove, a favorite beachcombing spot, to learn how to make our own vacation portraits.

A find, Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: Score! Oliver makes the find of the day, a chunk of beautifully worn cobalt glass the size of the half dollar.

finds, Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: Solvi displays some of her treasures.

Solvi and Jenn, Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: Artist Jennifer Steen Booher admires Solvi's discoveries.

old pennies, beach combing by J Hand for Gardenista

Above: Old pennies tell a story of their own.

beachcombers Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: A congress of beachcombers on a misty morning at Hulls Cove on Mount Desert Island.

our finds, Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: Back home, we get to relive our vacation as we survey our finds.

brown and green, Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: A composition in brown, and another in green. We arranged our finds on a light background, and I photographed them using a tripod. Jenn uses a professional light board for her vivid images. I overexposed mine a bit to create the dramatic, stark background. A little color boost in the edit brings out the brilliance of the glass.

blue Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: A composition in blue is a year-round reminder of our vacation. The photos can be simply taped to the refrigerator or inspiration wall, or professionally printed and arranged in a grouping. They can even be made into notecards to send to others.

Beach Combing in grey by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: A rich combination of natural and human history: Our finds ran the gamut from glass to coins, shells to stones. 

shell Beach Finds Into Art, by J. Hand for Gardenista

Above: Experimenting with different angles and apertures.

beach glass portrait by J.Hand for Gardenista

Above: Because it was the brightest spot in my house, I shot my images on a painted kitchen windowsill. But you could experiment with different textures and backgrounds. A flat piece of driftwood would be nice.

yellow green glass, beach combing art by  J Hand for Gardenista

Above: A minimalist portrait in yellow and green.

Jennifer Steen Booher, Beach Combing Series 47, Gardenista

Above: Jenn is a consummate beachcomber, and her professional images feature a rich variety of Maine finds. A 12-by-12-inch image of her Beachcombing Series No. 47 is available via her Etsy site; $40.

Jennifer Steen Booher Beach Combing Series No 35, Gardenista

Above: Beachcombing Series, No. 35 by Jennifer Steen Booher. Jenn is also happy to make a custom portrait for you. Just send her your finds and she'll create a professionally photographed composition. For more information on available sizes and pricing, contact Jenn via her website.

Jennifer Steen Booher, Beach Combing Series 17, Gardenista

Above: Beachcombing Series, No. 17.

Updated from a post originally published August 2, 2013.

N.B.: Join Jenn at another inspiring Bar Harbor spot at Winter Wonderland Hike. And for more from Justine on what to do with your beach treasures, see DIY: Pressed Seaweed Prints and DIY: Razor Clam Pendant Light.



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