Sea glass gives festival in Cayucos a sparkle

Special to The TribuneMarch 2, 2014 

Who would have thought a walk on a Cayucos beach picking up sea glass castaways could spark an annual community festival that attracts more than 6,000 visitors?

Chairperson Kiki Kornreich and her committee of collectors discovered sea glass was the magnet to bring visitors from near and far.

New to the event, which is scheduled for this weekend, is “preview shopping” at 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The first 200 people will pay a premium fee to shop and learn from the displays until 10 a.m., when the general public enters for a $5 fee.

Back by popular demand is Richard LaMotte, the Maryland-based award-winning author of Pure Sea Glass, who will share his expertise after a career unearthing sea glass worldwide.

“Don’t miss the Discovery Booth where people can learn about sea glass,” Kornreich said. “We’ll have beautiful live ‘mermaids,’ an auction and $2 drawing items, live music and scrumptious food from local restaurants.”

Morro Bay jewelry designer Denise Jacobson is one of the 38 vendors. “Last year was absolutely overwhelming — so many people all day long. Many wanted just a small memory from the festival.”

In August 2000, Denise and husband Drew retired from a family marine-related business in northern California, thinking they’d sail around the world in the boat they lived on. The high school sweethearts headed south, planning to spend three days in Morro Bay.

“I kept telling Drew we should be seeing a rock since it showed on the map. It was foggy when we entered the bay. The next morning I looked up and said, ‘Drew, I see the rock.’ We couldn’t have found a better place.”

Drew added, “The day we were supposed to head out for Mexico, we were ready to cast off. I asked Denise if she wanted to go. We couldn’t leave. We stayed until winter and then lived in Mexico for a couple years, but had to come back.”

Drew is a licensed captain for Red Anchor Charters and a marine surveyor.

Denise can finally apply her Puget Sound art degree making jewelry from sea glass she’s collected traveling and living on the water. Her custom designed “surf tumbled glass” creations are drilled rather than wrapped. She finds decorative chains and fasteners at yard sales, online and in local shops such as Morro Bay’s Beads by the Bay. Drew says she doesn’t sleep more than three to four hours a night, so she is always working on her jewelry.

“She’ll have plenty of pieces for the festival and she offers it reasonably,” he said.

For more details about the fourth annual Cayucos Sea Glass Festival, visit

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at

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