Summertime, and the first thing most people think of is…let’s go to the beach, where the breezes blow and the water refreshes! Well, here in the mountains, it’s not quite as accessible, but I have tons of inspiration in seashells. I’m thinking paua/abalone, pearls, mother of pearl and coral. I can just hear the waves crashing on the beach now…
Paua is actually one of a species of abalone found in New Zealand, and arguably the most colorful of the abalone family. Abalone comes in many different colors, depending on the species of the animal. The shell varies from deep blue and green, to purple, pink, red, and even white.
Recently, I’ve been having fun with using paua in earrings and pendants. See how the colors vary?
Mother of pearl is known in the gemstone industry as nacre, which is the iridescent substance that forms the lining of many mollusks, including oysters and abalone.
Pearls are the product of an irritation of an oyster. Because they are so versatile, I did a whole blog post on the pearl back in June.
Coral, formed by the skeletons of coral polyps, are mostly white and often dyed. But you can find black coral, which is rare, and the lovely orange/red color that is more common.
Believe it or not, cameos are often made from shells. The most highly prized shell for carving is the helmet shell because it has white and dark layers, so the cameo effect is more pronounced. This cameo is made from a black lip shell. Stay tuned, I expect to be doing a blog post on cameos in the near future.
Ammonite is also a shell, but a fossilized one. I think the patterns on the ammonite is such fun to work with. To find out more about the ammonite, check out the blog post from July.
I don’t know about you, but after this virtual trip to the beach, I feel totally relaxed. Even better, there’s no sand to have to wash out of my shoes!
Until next month!