A Touch of Glass

By Sandra Zunino

Tumbled by waves and shifting sands, sea glass is little more than a bit of discarded rubbish hewn by nature to create a gem-like object. Intrigued by its beauty, artist Phil Lambert of Kent Island has been collecting see glass for years.

“When I first picked it up, I thought I would use it in an art project like mosaic,” says Phil, “but sea glass has a limited pallet – a lot of green, white and brown.” Although Phil shelved the mosaic idea, he continued adding to his collection.

When someone suggested he make jewelry out of it, Phil says he thought it was the silliest idea in the world, but now his studio is filled with sea glass jewelry and people are drawn to this wearable art’s allure.

“I don’t cut the sea glass,” says Phil, “but I might wrap it with a little silver or cement it with complimentary colors.”  You can find Phil’s sea glass jewelry at area boutiques including Eastern Bay Trading Company in Grasonville and Artiste Locale in Easton. Phil also displays the jewelry outside Jellyfish Joel’s in Chestertown and Kent Narrows’ Red Eye’s Dock Bar.

Phil gathers sea glass from beaches around the world including the Chesapeake Bay, Cape May, NJ, North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the Florida Keys, Hawaii, Abaco, Bahamas and Belize.

“People just like it,” says Phil who also donates pieces to area charities for auction fundraisers. “I’m happy to donate it every year,” he says. “I get a lot of reward out of that.”

In addition to creating sea glass jewelry, Phil also paints in both oil and watercolor. His love of art started at a young age. While he was awarded an art scholarship, he interrupted his studies to go to Vietnam. Even in the military, his artistic vision prevailed and he was recruited as a radio and television producer.

As a civilian, Phil directed live television for Ted Turner. Pursuing a directing career in New York, he worked on three academy award films, commercials and soap operas. His love of nature brought him to the Keys where he pursued watercolor painting.

Making Kent Island his home in 2001, Phil found his niche in the local art community. A member of the Kent Island Federation of Art and the Queen Anne’s Arts Council, he is passionate about promoting art in this area.

Working with fellow artists Stanley Galkin, David Murphy and Nancy O’Brian, the idea of holding an art show in Kent Narrows emerged. Using the team’s collective connections, the first Art Fair at the Narrows took place last August.

The show was such a success, they decided to pursue it as a series in 2010, holding shows the second Saturday of each month from May through September. Unfortunately, the May show was cancelled due to high winds. The next takes place on June 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. between Fisherman’s Inn and The Jetty.

Free to the public, vendors offer paintings, photography, ceramics, stained glass, fabric, apparel, jewelry, African Batik, and Native American art. A juried show, a panel evaluates submissions before granting vendor approval to ensure quality.

All displayed art is original and for sale starting at $10. “We are trying to keep it reasonably priced,” says Phil.

Art Fair at the Narrows benefits the Hospice of Queen Anne’s County. For more information about Phil Lambert or the Art Fair, visit www.phillambertart.com.