Beach Better Have My Shells

Progress on the seashell installation took a huge leap forward this week. At a meeting with Danny Olda in the gallery at Creative Pinellas, we determined where I would be installing my 2,511 shells. Once the location was decided, I was able to design an installation based on the architecture and size of the space. This means I can officially say I know the dimensions of the final installed piece, and that’s a major milestone in the installation journey!

After my gallery visit, I was super excited to meet with my mentor, Don. We discussed my installation plans, including all the little (but important!) details regarding heights, weights, plus look and feel of support materials. As usual Don was a wealth of information and I’m so grateful for his input and assistance throughout this journey.

Processing thousands of shells has resulted in a constant mess in my space, but my OCD self doesn’t mind this type of mess. I prefer to think of it as organized chaos. There are shells waiting to be cleaned, waiting to be dry, waiting to be painted, waiting to be glazed, waiting to be stamped, and finally waiting to be glued. A quick look around my place and it’s pretty clear I’m fully immersed in this seashell installation.

These buttercup lucines are hanging out on my bathroom counter waiting to dry:

Let’s not forget the fundamental step in all of this – finding the shells! Some days I hit a beach and after an hour of walking I come away with around 10 shells. Other days that same beach could yield over 100 shells. Trips to the beach to hunt shells are always a surprise, and I’m always happy to be outside in the sand and surf (as long as it’s least 55 degrees out).

There were some impressive waves at Sand Key this week:

This morning was the best surprise yet – the beach was absolutely covered with buttercup lucine shells. I worked a small section of beach for about 45 minutes and managed to grab over 350 shells!! Here’s where I should share that I deal with chronic pain issues, and stooping over that many times put me at my limit. No worries, I’ll go back later with my husband and he can help me grab more. I’ve officially made it to triple digits on the countdown!


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