Thursday, May 31, 2012

Distant Shore Shells

Would you like to see what I was playing with before I left my dream in Florida?
(Oh, Shannon, always so melancholy. Can't anything be about something else?)
This post is for me, but I hope you like what I put together.....

Before I left Missouri in April of 2011, it was a goal to utilize my skills on recycled or naturally obtained materials.
I dreamed of the long walks on the beach and all the treasures we would find.
Although I went there with expectations on what I would uncover and create with, life experience shifted a bit and I was more interested in collecting certain shells that meant something to me personally.
It was not important that the shells be well known, rare or even left perfectly unbroken by the sea.
Instead they needed to symbolize how varied and strong they were, to be one of so many of millions and yet each uniquely beautiful. To travel in such rough conditions as the sea and end up a durable, usable object in jewelry is a great feat that I admire in the shells.

To leave my mark on these Olividae shells without screwing up their perfect esthetic, I edged them in a copper metal paint, than applied verdigris patina to the edges and allowed that to develop. Once dry, I sealed the whole shell just as the patina metal is sealed; in lacquer and wax so their finish is protected. 
And there, with a center hole already in place.... I have natures perfect bead!
(I then shoved a really thick piece of braided leather through the opening of the shell, I won't lie; it wasn't easy and some of my leather frayed at the ends where I had to work through a little bit of the leather at a time and then when I had just the smallest piece coming out from the opposite hole, I gripped it with flat nosed pliers and pulled it all the way through.)
It was instantly cool.

 I embellished it with antiqued copper wire wrapping, a hand forged "S" clasp, open link verdigris chain and mother of pearl shell shards that totally look like the teeth of some wild beast that I slain with my bare hands and carried over my shoulders to my tropical tribe where we feasted for days and I was exalted above all other beast hunters and presented with the teeth from the kill in a fantastic celebration that included drums and half naked people stamping around in rhythmic gyrations.
When in reality, I was texting my friend while hiding in the finished lower level of my parents house making jewelry.
But we all gotta hold on to dreams, right?
Hey, beach bum!
I made you some!
If you would like your own Distant Shore Shell, shop here;

They range in price from $7 to $9 for small, medium and large.
Much Love & Respect;



  1. First, you must keep your dream alive and that means sharing it with US! Even I still think of what you had to leave behind! But you have the shells and I'm amazed at the way you embellished them and they are so gorgeous! That necklace is supercalifragilisticexpialadocious! And I don't doubt that you could slay a wild beast, just in case! It was helpful to hear how your struggle to pull the leather through turned out, persistence and muscle paid off! Come and see the Challenge of Literature bloghop!

  2. these are beautiful shannon! and your necklace is primally powerful...

  3. Love the look of those - they still appear so natural with the verdegris you applied. Brava!

  4. Shannon, these are gorgeous! The bit of color you added just makes them even more beautiful! And I love how you added the MOP daggers to this shell.

  5. Shannon, I think they are beautiful! And the finished piece looks perfect on you - I would totally praise your superior hunting skills after dragging home the beast that those awesome 'teeth' belonged to! Let's dance!

  6. Those are sweet as is the design your came up with. Really a nice idea and how nice of you to share some in your shop for others to enjoy creating with them. You've turned them into something more rare and precious with your creativity.

  7. I just love what you have done with those shells. So unique and lovely. Nice work.

  8. Ah...I notices shells at the Etsy shop a week ago and thought- what a nice echo of lives past! When I was three, my parents took me to Florida to retrieve my grandfather, who was living there alone. We stayed for several months, trying to convince him to come to CT with us. I will never forget the special smell of the Florida tide, which is unlike the beach smell here in NE.

    These shells are lovely, and you've given them a new life eith a completely original treatment. sort of like adding peanut butter and jelly to plain bread...well, you know what I mean! Always inventing something beautiful you are.

    OK, I'll stop here, I"m turning into Yoda.

    But I love them and your necklace.

  9. This is a beautiful, original necklace and I love your poetic waxing about shells.

  10. Oh..I love this! You never cease to amaze..and inspire!


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