By Kirsti Scott
Heidi and Ted Blake are beachcombers and artists from Currituck, North Carolina. Heidi says she’s been collecting sea glass for 57 years, before anyone really knew about sea glass.
“I just loved looking at it.”
Heidi says their area is a great place to visit during spring, summer, and fall, and has a wide range of hidden treasures—sea glass, driftwood, shells, and even wild horses. The two beaches they recommend are Corolla and Coquina Beach, in the Outer Banks, which have conch shells, sea glass, and historical objects. Heidi says she found many bottles in the mud by the Currituck Ferry, along with a Civil War canteen spoon. “There are so many wonderful things hidden on these beaches.”
Heidi estimates that she and her husband have collected nearly 1,000 pounds of sea glass over the years from all over the world, including Panama, Iceland, and England. Her all-time favorite finds are an orange bottle stopper, and pipe stem and bowl. Beachcombers don’t need many items for a trip to her beaches, but some people bring kayaks to get around the marshy areas.
The combination of Corolla Beach and Coquina Beach is colloquially called “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” because over 6,000 shipwrecks have sunk in the area. Heidi recommends visiting any of the four famous Outer Banks lighthouses: Bodie Island Lighthouse, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The area has plenty of lodging options from hotels to vacation homes to campgrounds.
So, what do you do when you have more sea glass and beach finds than you can manage? If you’re Heidi and Ted, you use your art talents and furniture-building skills to create jewelry, sea glass headboards, driftwood creatures, and home décor. At their studio and shop, called Coastal Creations, they sell their one-of-a-kind home décor, sea glass art, tables, frames, wood sculptures, and jewelry and show off some of their collection.
Heidi and Ted offer classes on creating sea glass art, beach pebble art, candles, and more. If you’re in the Currituck area, stop by for a look or a class!
Find out more at www.coastalcreationsseaglass.com.
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All photos courtesy of Heidi and Ted Blake except as marked.
This article appeared in the Beachcombing Volume 37: July/August 2023.