Monday, June 20, 2011


There are times working in my studio when it is so quiet you could hear a very tiny shell drop. It is during these times when I have chosen to have all man-made noises that surrounds us every day in the turned “off” position. In these times’s while sorting out shells for my next creation, it is when my mind will start to wander. I have to say that I am very “well traveled” and have logged many miles of wandering over the years
So while I am what others’ refer to as in the “zone” while sorting a collection of shells by size and color, this one particular story would always seem to come to mind. So here it is…

There was this old time mason installing round beach stones finishing up a fireplace inside the new dinning room of the restaurant that I worked in. At one point, the owner of the restaurant came around the corner and stood in the doorway and saw the mason creating his work of art. He watched the mason meticulously look over the stones on the floor that surrounded him, picked one up dabbing a little mortar on it and carefully setting it in place which was always a perfect fit. Then the mason turned his head looked again at the stones on the floor picked one up dabbed a little mortar on it and set in place, yet another perfect fit. After watching this process a number of times, the owner said in amazement “how do you know which stone to choose knowing that it would fit perfectly each and every time?”  The mason half looked at the owner and said…………… SORRY, this is where I have to stop the story to tell you how it relates to shell art. I promise you, it will be well WORTH the interruption.
Now I am going to set the stage for my second story and I promise to get back the first one.  So here I am at a shell art show demonstrating and answering questions in my usual, inviting manner when three ladies walk up to my table. The conversation is pretty much routine viewing my art work when one of the women asks, “What are those little green shells you are installing in that Sailors Valentine?”  

 So I answered, “These shells are called Emerald Nerites.” She quickly responds, “it’s amazing how you have installed them in perfectly straight rows and all the same size. How are you able to do that?” In that one SPLIT SECOND the masons answer FLASHED in my mind and I knew I was in trouble! 

So I picked one of the little Nerites with my tweezers held it in front of my Visor and said “with this magnification you can see that they are all…………. And the masons answer JUMPED RIGHT OFF OF MY TOUNGE ……… there all numbered!”
Well at least the women did not walk away without a word, as the Restaurant owner did after hearing the mason’s answer. I was quick enough to say to the women, “if you believe THAT, I can offer you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge”. We all laughed and now that I have told you the story, I have no need to try that CRAZY experiment ever again. All’s well that ends well. 

And there you have it, the intersection of two stories that complement each well enough to share the same answer!

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