I'll Make Him A Shell Of A Man

I have a lifelong love affair with the ocean.  It is the wildness of the sea that draws me in; the wind, the crashing waves, the briny smell, the stark loneliness. Every day the ocean tosses a bounty of shells upon its shores. Interestingly enough, shells were once used for bartering and trade and are the oldest form of currency!

Seashells as an art form have a long and varied history.  I am particularly enamored with shell busts that look crusty and natural as though they have risen from the water.  Antique shell busts are particularly rare but newer busts can be made to look antique through careful selection of the type of bust and shells.

The Room Blue here

This marvelous bust has all the elements I adore- aged patina, weathered shells and a lovely, expressive face. The face is very important to the final product!  Nancy Price of The Room Blue has a wonderful story here about her "Southern Lady".

Unknown Source

This antique bust has a chalky element I love. I also love the organic effect of using only natural unenhanced shells.

Unknown Source

Created by Maison Jansen, 1960s
Silvia Pretroccia Antiques here

1960s bust signed Maison Jansen
Silvia Pretroccia Antiques here

 I recently purchased this marvelous stone bust. I love him as he is but know I will love even him more encrusted with shells. I have been looking for a bust like this for some time and am just thrilled to have found him!  I have some wonderful oyster shells I have been itching to use. I will share his transformation later.

I also have plans for this lovely, mossy torso. Her graceful lines will work especially well with my vast collection of scallop shells.  Every time I visit Cape Cod I come home with bags full. The shells themselves (if you can get to them before the birds and good luck with that) produce a tiny but delicious grilled scallop!

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