Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A COQUINA SHELL FLOWER

Well, Spring has officially arrived and residing here in Fort Myers, Florida, I really have to think back to the many Winters I spent in New England. When thinking back to those cold days, I immediately recall the color of snow. It was “GREEN”! It has nothing to do with the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park, but I can only attribute this to the fact that I owned a C-20 Chevy Truck with an eight-foot Fisher plow blade, hence the color of snow! After hearing from my family and watching this past New England winter on the weather channel, I feel blessed that it did not snow here, neither green nor white. So for me, the only thing on my mind is warm thoughts of spring.
While it may not be quite Beach Weather in New England as yet, I thought a spring flower might be in order to help wash away the lingering thoughts of the winter blues.

Before I continue with this blog, there are many shell artists who have their own unique ways to create their end result, however here I am expressing a system I developed and as you will see it worked out well for me.


So let me begin: First a list of tools that I used from my own personal “craft kit” including; Tacky Glue , Hot Melt Glue Gun, Tweezers, Clear Nail Polish, and a safety cap I removed from a gallon paint thinner container. And of course, last but not least, the “Star” of this creative piece…the Coquina Sea Shells.

Next I placed the cap upside down on a piece of paper and using the hot melt glue gun, I applied a small amount of glue to the outer edge of the cap. This served an important purpose, to hold the cap in place so it could not slide around on the paper.  Also you see nine Coquina Shells placed side-by-side which are all the same length to help fashion a uniform and symmetrical design.
 
 
Now, with the cap placed securely on the paper, I applied a couple of fair sized drops of the Tacky Glue in the center of the cap as pictured below.  Using a tooth pick or whatever was handy at the time, I spread the glue around to about the thickness of a penny. You need not panic about time at this point; you have a solid five to 10 minutes before the glue starts to set.
 

 
Next, I placed the hinge end of the Coquina Shell pointing downward as pictured into the glue arranging them evenly being mindful to keep them centered inside the cap.
 
 
In about thirty minutes, I was able to apply clear nail polish to the inside area of the shells to deepen the color. So, are you in Shell Shock YET?
 


As you can see, in the center of the flower, I have placed a round white shell I had on hand to try to make a dramatic statement, now the flower is in full bloom.




Lastly, on the following day, I started to strip the paper away until the flower dropped effortlessly from the cap. 



And there you have it, a Coquina Flower! The nice part is the flower will bloom all year round no matter where you live. I guess you might say this flower to me, represents the first sign of spring so I added it to my new beach hat.

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