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IBC 2015


Mary Beth Beuke  - The Sea Glass Journey

Mary T. McCarthy - Beach Marbles Worldwide: Age, Sources and Types

Kalli Ostner - Beach Treasures of Puget Sound

Jake Rankin - Beachcombing Northwest-Style: Finding Agates, Jasper, Petrified Wood & Concretions

Dr. Deacon Ritterbush - A Primer on Beach Pottery

Scott Williams - Trade History and Shipwreck Artifacts of the Pacific Northwest 

Gene Woodwick -  Beach Treasures of Damon Point: The Role of the Davidson Current, the Columbia River and the Salish Sea 

Larry Workman - The Quinault Nation of the Olympic Peninsula


Gail Benjamin - Sea Glass Jewelry Workshop

Mary Beth Beuke - Sea Glass from Around the World Mini-Tutorial

Julia Fairchild Beach Blogging Workshop

Kalli Ostner - Photography Workshop

Dr. Deacon Ritterbush - Hard Paste from Soft Paste Beach Pottery

Laura Roloffs - Driftwood & Shell Picture Frame Workshop
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There’s a big, beautiful world out there, just waiting for you to… 


Join consummate and novice beachcombers, rock hounds and coastal lovers for an informative, relaxing, fun-filled weekend at the 2015 International Beachcombing Conference. 

For the first time in six years, IBC will be held on the west coast, on a stretch of shoreline just south of Washington’s magnificent Olympic National Park. Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, the Olympic Peninsula is a wild, mysterious region of deep, thick, moss-covered woods, gigantic trees and some of the longest, widest beaches found on the continental U.S. 

These beaches hold treasures galore: petrified wood (the state gemstone), a rainbow of stones (agates, jasper, carnelian), fossilized shells, glass fishing floats, beeswax balls, tsunami debris, pumice, shipwreck artifacts, stone orbs and the occasional shard of sea glass or pottery.

This year’s IBC offers a fantastic opportunity to learn more about this special region. Beachcomb experts, coastal artists and authors, area historians, archaeologists, geologists and more provide tutorials, lead outdoor practicums, offer photography and art classes, and hold I.D artifact sessions. All of these activities are designed to give you a broader view of factors affecting where and how to beachcomb, why certain things appear on these shorelines, and tricks to determine age and/or origin of beach finds. Interesting films, group discussions, ‘goody’ bags and a swap table of free beach treasures are also thrown into the mix. 

Participants will have many opportunities to expand their combing know-how, develop new friendships and broaden their comber networks. Beachside lodging is within walking distance to conference activities and group meals. Think outdoor bonfires and lantern lit nighttime razor clamming. This year we may even have reflexologists, masseuse and/or reiki specialists on hand to ease your body aches from all that combing!  

For a beachcomber, it doesn’t get much better than this. Maybe its time to treat yourself to an exhilarating unforgettable four days of fun at IBC ’15.

Deacon Ritterbush, Ph.D. (aka Dr. Beachcomb)
Founder and Coordinator 
International Beachcombing Conference

IBC 2015


The Quinault Nation of the Olympic Peninsula

Beach Treasures of Damon Point: The Role of the Davidson Current, the Columbia River and the Salish Sea 

Trade History and Shipwreck Artifacts of the Pacific Northwest 

Beach Treasures of Puget Sound

The Sea Glass Journey

A Journey of Hope: Glass Fishing Floats

English Sea Glass

Beach Pottery:  Hard Paste & Soft Paste Porcelain

Beach Marbles from Around the Globe

Beachcombing Northwest Style:  Finding Agates, Jasper, Petrified Wood and Concretions


A special feature of the Beachcombing Conference is the opportunity for participants to go beachcombing with, or take arts classes from, experienced guides and teachers. 

Practicums usually are scheduled for afternoons and evenings. Because registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, it’s a good idea to register early to get the practicums you want, especially since some are limited to a specific number of participants.

Mid-October weather can be chilly in this part of the Washington Coast so for those going on field trips, be sure to pack warm clothing to layer, socks, boots or waterproof shoes, and a rain parka. Also, remember to bring a re-useable bag in which to put beach finds.

For Beach Arts classes, supplies will be provided but you might want to bring your own special sea glass or beach treasures to use in your artistic creations. 


Damon Point Excursion
Get to know one of the best beachcombing sites on the lower Washington Coast, first with a visit to the Coastal Interpretive Center and then to Damon Point for a long, leisurely comb in search of agates, petrified wood, shells, driftwood, fossils and flat, oval stones. Self-transported.

Moclips Magic
The settlement history of this long, generous stretch of shoreline – from Native American settlements to the logging industry to Victorian hotels – begins with a visit to a beach fossil shop, followed by a relaxing beachcomb in search fossils, shells, pottery shards, shipwreck coal, tsunami debris, drift seeds, driftwood, fishing floats and more. Self-transported.

Ruby Beach and the Olympic Peninsula
Olympic National Park, a true national treasure, offers up one of the most picturesque shorelines in North America. Spend the afternoon taking pictures, ‘sea stack’ climbing and combing for heart rocks, driftwood, and striped stones.


Learn how best to stage and shoot beach treasures using indoor lighting and then how to best edit them digitally. Camera and computer required.  

Create wrapped jewelry from beach treasures. Sea glass, coral, quartz, etc. will be provided, but feel free to bring your own favorites, too.

Make the frames you see in the decorator magazines with shell, stone, sea glass and coral edging.

The PNW is the land of driftwood! From wall plaques to mobiles, come work with this lovely weathered wood to create something exceptional.

Want to share your beachcomb thoughts, adventures and photos for the world to see? Learn how to create your own blog and leave IBC with the know-how to keep on posting.


Gail Benjamin 
A retired librarian, Gail Benjamin is also a beach/sea glass jewelry artist and owner of Left Coast Sea Glass. Most of Gail's jewelry is wire wrapped in sterling silver or brass. She sells sea glass jewelry in San Francisco Bay Area stores, at local festivals and on her online store. Gail’s number #1 item on her bucket list is to visit every sea glass beach in the world.   Left Coast Sea Glass

Mary Beth Beuke
A Pacific northwest native,  Mary Beth is a well-known member of the worldwide sea glass community. She is a founder and former president of the North American Sea Glass Association (NASGA). Author of the recently-published Ultimate Guide to Sea Glass, Mary Beth is also a skilled sea glass jeweler, the items of which she sells through her company,  West Coast Sea Glass. 

Julia Fairchild
​​Julia Fairchild is an energy psychology therapist turned web designer 15 years ago. Hallmarks of her web design work are ease of navigation, quality of content and visually appealing pages. A resident of Hawai'i, she is a snorkeler and beachcomber, who is particularly fond of coral and rock hearts. Coming to Hawaii? Check out Julia's Big Island Locals Guide BLOG

Mary T. McCarthy 
Mary is also a novelist and free-lance journalist who has published in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Baltimore Sun. Currently she is a senior editor for the website, Splice. An avid beachcomber and sea glass collector from Maryland’s eastern shore region, her leading combing passion is beach marbles.

Kalli Ostner
A native of Washington State’s Puget Sound region, Kalli is a lifelong beachcomber who is out on the beach nearly every day in every kind of weather. Very knowledgeable about the history behind many Pacific coast and Puget Sound beach treasures, she is also a passionate photographer who specializes in wildlife photography.

Jake Rankin
Born and raised in Oregon, Jack is a lapidary artist with over 20 years experience collecting and studying minerals from the Northwest and beyond. He is also an avid collector, and spends most of his time combing beaches and river ways for agates, jasper, petrified wood and concretions. He is a member of the lapidary group, NW Rockhounds, who bring the geology of the Northwest to your living room. To learn more John's finds, visit Agate Hunter on Facebook.

Dr. Deacon Ritterbush
Regarded as a leading beachcomb specialist, Deacon is a sustainable development strategist and eco-educator known as "Dr. Beachcomb." Committed to coastal conservation issues, she nurtures earth-care through beachcombing.   Author of the award-winning book, A Beachcomber’s Odyssey, and founder of the International Beachcombing Conference, Deacon lectures widely on sea glass, beach pottery, glass fishing floats, and the beachcomb experience.   Dr. Beachcomb

Laura Roloffs
Formerly from Oregon, Laura has been a resident of the Pacific Beach/Seabrook, Washington community for over a decade.  A life-long beachcomber with a degree in art, she uses many of the beach treasures she finds in her art work.

Scott Williams
A native of Hawaii, Scott is an archaeologist who is the Manager of the Cultural Resources Program at the Washington State Department of Transportation. He also serves as the Principal Investigator for the Beeswax Wreck Project, a non-profit group of archaeologists, historians, and geologists researching the location and identity of a 17th century Manila galleon wreck on on the Oregon coast.

Larry Workman 
Originally from Indiana, Larry was a Peace Corp Volunteer in Ethiopia prior to moving to the Olympic Peninsula. A long-time employee of the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN), Larry helped plant the roots for a forestry program and produced publications related to natural resources. Currently he manages the QIN Centralized Communications Program and is an avid photographer of the Olympic peninsula and Quinault nation.  Photo Gallery

Gene Woodwick 
Gene Woodwick is a local journalist and founder of the Coastal Interpretive Center in Ocean Shores. A leading historian on Washington’s central coast, she is a former board member for the Washington Museum Association, Polson Museum, and Aberdeen Museum of History. Founder and currently the exhibits curator at the Ocean Shores Interpretive Center, she is the author of Ocean Shores and co-authored with Brian Woodrick Logging in Grays Harbor