Thursday, December 07, 2006

Share a Past Project Thursday

I have always, as long as I can remember, picked up found items and have used them in art projects. Old jewelry pieces, wire, bottlecaps, pretty rocks...
and shells.

Shell crafts have a bit of a bad rap--people envision little bazaar animals with googly eyes. But crafting with shells can be really beautiful too.Shell Mirror

Here I glued 'junk' shells around a wooden Ikea mirror. These are just bits and pieces, and common shells like mussels that few people value. These are from Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, versus the beautiful shells available elsewhere. I still think it's fun. Taken together, I think these make a handsome frame.
I even used a few pieces of plant life.
The corkscrew on the lower left is a particularly wonderful find.
Made in October 2000.

I am at the beach a lot because I like to walk dogs there. Sure beats asphalt and a leash, I gotta tell ya. But I spend a lot of time looking for treasures, including broken bits of shell that still look great in mosaics, and sea-tumbled rocks.

I painstackingly and tediously paint all the pieces with clear fingernail polish prior to assembly, to bring out the color and the wet look.
Somehow the idea of spray acrylic just doesn't seem like I'd get the same result.
I use a popsicle stick to spread a layer of Alleene's Thick Designer Tacky Glue, then arrange the shells in it.
It dries clear.

Shell Mirror dangles
Rocks and shells with natural holes in them make excellent beads. Here, a few items swing at the bottom of the mirror on hemp twine.

I have another shell frame that is a memory keepsake using shells collected during a trip to Mexico with an ex. It's very simple, but I really love it. I will post it at a later date.

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Blogger Heidi said...

I like those shells used as beads. Is it hard to find shells with naturally occurring holes? I suppose you could always drill one in it, too.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very Pretty!

6:33 AM  
Blogger Claudia said...

Hi Barb,

I really like this mirror.
I guess the main difference between this wonderful piece and the "bazaar animals with googly eyes" is that it has a very natural, charming look, because the shells are arranged randomly, in contrast to the animals where the shells are applied uniformly, trying to form a shape somewhat "by force"...

Shells are so wonderful as a keepsake, as stones are.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful Barb!!

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heidi - alot of shells will have holes in them: they come from being attacked by other shellfish. They just plaster themselves on top of the victim, drill a hole, and suck the life out of said victim.

I love shell collecting - and the upcoming winter storms usually will bring up some really fine stuff.

Conchologists unite!

1:59 AM  
Blogger Teri M. said...

crafty girl

9:20 PM  

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