Friday, November 26, 2010

Every Gift has a Story

Mermaid Lures

I have been collecting shells along the New Jersey coastline since I was about 5 or 6 years old. In the seventies, it was pretty easy to amass a collection of whole, large scallop and snail shells to commemorate your summer stay at the beach. Several times my mother was lucky enough to find 6-8” whelk or conch shells.

Over the years, these larger pieces slowly disappeared. Now during beach visits, you mostly find fragments of shells. It is difficult to find larger, intact shells…except maybe a clam shell recently cleaned by a seagull. Many beachgoers don’t even look down anymore.

I still collect, regardless, because I think even the small pieces are worth looking at and treasuring for their beautiful color and shape. What if, someday, we do not even have these?

Each trip is an endless search through thousands of shell fragments, sea glass and beach stones, sadly weeding out all of the pieces too fragile to use. At the end of my trip, I am usually left with a few dozen shells that carry enough color and texture to become the focal point of one of my designs. I do not drill the shells or stones. I prefer to find pieces that already have the holes pounded into them by the surf and sea creatures.

I am always grateful when customers enjoy these little bit of the sea as much as I do.

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