Thursday, June 25, 2009

More about beach finds

I am an inveterate collector of shells, beach glass, beach stones and driftwood. I love to find ways to incorporate my finds into my stitchery, my sculpture, my sewing, and my jewelry making. My recent vacation to Maryland's Western Shore was very productive, at least so far as shell collecting was involved. To be more precise, I collected shell fragments that had been broken, polished and perforated by the action of the waves. Since most of the shells were oyster shells, the irridescent quality of the fragments was phenomenal. When wet, the shells seemed to be deep orange or rust shading down to pale peach and sand colors. When dry, most pieces faded down to rosy beige and sand colors though a few kept the stronger, more saturated colors.

All of the pieces above have one or more small holes drilled right through the shell by the bay water's action ... with my somewhat over-active imagination, I can't help seeing recognizable shapes in these pieces. For instance, the dark piece on the lower left makes me think of a carnival half mask or an other-worldly face in profile. The pale piece in the upper right reminds me of the head and shoulders of a walrus. The rosy beige piece in the center of the bottom row resembles an angel fish and other pieces look like bird heads with exaggerated beaks [rather like totem pole birds]. And some are just abstract shapes that will make interesting buttons on biscornus or embellished crazy quilt blocks. In any case, I forsee having fun deciding how to use these bits and pieces over the next couple of months or so.

These shell fragments do not have any convenient little holes, but I was attracted by the colors and shapes. If used in needlework, they will have to be "webbed" onto the fabric. If used in jewelry or as charms for embroidery pieces, they will have to be fitted with findings. If used in sculpture, they would have to be embedded in the clay of pieces I will only air-dry or affixed to pieces after firing.

I am always on the look out for pieces of beach glass as well ... but these are much harder to find and my collection grows ever so slowly. These were the only two pieces I found in ten days of beach walking. I have no clue what I will do with my beach glass, other then display the pieces in a small bowl on the coffee table. But I love the muted, misty colors and opaque quality of beach glass. Maybe someday I'll combine all my beach glass into one fabulous necklace ...

4 comments:

Anna van Schurman said...

I know I've seen some jewelry made with sea glass. I have mine in jars on a windowsill in my bedroom. They're divided up by where I found them. The best beach I've ever collected sea glass on was in England, Seaham. Fabulous colors including red and turquoise blue!

kimstitch3 said...

how pretty and one or two look like earlobes.lol.the shape. Lovely collection you have going.Keep up the good work,Kimberly

mainely stitching said...

Oh, I wish I had all the beach glass I collected as a kid. It's next to impossible to find anymore, isn't it? How strange that is. Your collection is gorgeous!

disa said...
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