Sandy McCormick

The colors, shapes and textures of beach glass fascinate Sandy McCormick. A retiree from Vancouver, she began collecting beach glass in 1974 and says each piece is "remarkably different, like snowflakes. The styles of printing on the glass depict what era the piece came from. Each piece has a story to tell."

After a decade-and-a-half of collecting around the Lower Mainland and on all seven continents, Sandy struck the "mother lode" on Texada Island. She first came to visit friends and in one week collected more than she had during the previous 15 years. "It wasn’t until I started visiting Texada regularly that I had enough beach glass to do anything with, other than admire." Now her massive collection includes colors totally unique to the island, such as a range of golden and yellow shades. The former journalist moved to Texada in 2007.

She began adorning picture frames with different colors of beach glass, choosing pieces which reflected and accented the colors and moods of the photos. After taking some to a local gallery, she discovered they were a big hit. "No one else was doing anything like this," Sandy said.

Beach glass adds color, depth and charm to a room’s decor, bringing the ocean home. Shiny pieces, which are not as worn down, sparkle in the sunlight. Other beach "finds" such as small bottles, cutlery, marbles, jewellry, broken china, car and tool parts and Texada flower rocks round out the collection from which Sandy lovingly puts together her creations.

Her repertoire has moved far beyond picture frames and now includes: driftwood mirrors, door wreaths, wind chimes, inukshuks, beach glass curtains, key rings, pendants, Christmas decorations, candle holders, mirror frames (large and small) , table and wedding centrepieces and hangings of glass from ornate pieces of polished driftwood. She’s even decorated a guitar. Sandy specializes in custom items to match the color and style of the client’s decor and will include the customer’s own keepsake treasures to fully personalize her works of useful art. Email her your order now and pick it up at the art tour, sandynleeti@gmail.com.

All of Sandy’s exquisite products are one-of-a-kind, handcrafted slowly, with care and thought going into the selection and placement of each piece. Glue is never visible on her work.

Living on the beach gives Sandy ample opportunities to keep adding to her collection. She finds keys, dice, bullet casings, toys and a range of other unusual items which she incorporates into her work.

Working with beach glass is the ultimate in recycling, Sandy says. A product which is found in nature, sand, is made by people into glass items. It’s then recycled and worn down by nature, the ocean, into beach glass. "I take the process one step further and recycle the beach glass into works of art for people to use and enjoy."

For the Texada Artists’ Studio Tour, Sandy will be presenting all new works in her unique style that has evolved over the years with more elaborateness and detail.