Staff photo by Allison Potter
Cynthia Tucker, owner of Sea of Glass, sells her custom jewelry at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market on Monday, May 27.
Wilmington glass artist Cynthia Tucker began making her own beads and jewelry out of colored glass close to seven years ago after seeing the work of a close friend. Tucker uses a torch to melt colored glass, which she then winds around steel rods to create her unique and intricate beads. Combining different colors and patterns, Tucker’s beads are small pieces of wearable art.
Tucker, part of the new addition of craft vendors to the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market, said her jewelry is a valuable asset to the market. Tourists searching for locally-made souvenirs can purchase and take home her beads. Her use of seascapes and oceanic themes will appeal to someone who loves Wrightsville Beach.
Tucker’s business, Sea of Glass Lampwork, has been featured at farmers’ markets around Wilmington, including downtown’s Riverfront farmers’ market and the market at Poplar Grove, since she began handcrafting jewelry. Lampwork, often confused by customers for the manufacturing of light fixtures, actually refers to the original process of melting glass using oil lamps and bellows. These days, however, Tucker uses a 2,000-degree torch to melt the glass rods.
“At first I was scared of the torch,” she admitted.
Tucker crafts many types of jewelry using glass beads. Sea of Glass’s products include common jewelry like earrings and necklaces as well as some more original accessories such as bracelets made out of spoons accented by Tucker’s colorful beads. Tucker would like to make it clear that while some of her jewelry uses sea glass, her creations are not strictly sea glass, but “rather a sea of color,” she said.
Cynthia Tucker’s creations can be found at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market every Monday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information or to view her work online, visit www.seaofglasslampwork.com