Monday, August 8, 2011


It has been said “In life everything has a reason and a purpose”.  So pictured here is a multi use device I created for use in my shell art. If you have been following my blogs it appeared in Did you know that sea urchin spines can spell? and again in  Tiny Shells Produce Tiny Flowers. In that blog I stated :“Well it’s an invention of mine and as long as I`m hand cuffed to this bench, I will do a blog on it before long, so stay tuned”, so now it has come time as they say to spill the beans.
  A number of years ago I was asked to do shell art demonstrations in an open tent at the Sanibel Show. While planning my demonstrations  I started to think about the Tacky Glue I would be using and how over time it skins over in the middle of a project. You have to stop everything and refresh it before continuing. Well I knew in an open air tent it was going happen ten times faster and that wouldn't be fun! I also knew the cause was air passing over the glue so I needed to create a device to shield it, hence the plastic cap and hinge in the next slide.

Now don't ask me if the plastic cap I used came from the Shell Art &“Grog” blog even though it happens to be the perfect size needed. We artists have to have some trade secrets! lol
Here you are viewing the front or working section of the device. The cap is now flipped up in an open position and I am applying a drop of tacky glue to a piece of Scotch tape on top of a piece of glass I glued to the wood underneath. Stopping here for the moment, there a couple of points I need to address. One, it only works well in small shell art projects when large volumes of glue are not needed. Next, the device is only useful with water base glue such as Tacky.  The reason for the Scotch Tape is instead of having to clean the glue from the glass the next day I can just peel off the tape. Also the cup hook shown protruding from the hinge in the previous picture is used as an adjustment to keep the cap somewhat vertical when flipping it open instead of having it fall all the way back. I know some of you thought it was a way to hang it up when not in use. lol

In the beginning of this blog I did say the device has more than one use. In my  Did you know that sea urchin spines can spell? blog, it shows how I use it to cut Urchin Spines to achieve a constant length as well as equal width. In the following picture there is a blue/green remnant piece of Formica counter top glued to the device. The single Urchin Spine you see has been glued to the surface used as a sample for what ever project I might be working on at the time, instead of gluing it to the wood part of the devise. That way I can easily remove the sample later on with out destroying the wood.
As you can see I have attached the device to an old Oreo Christmas Cookie Tin with a dollar bill inside to give you and idea of the over all size. Last but not least on the upper far left are two small brushes I installed to clean off the tweezers when needed. God forbid I transfer any shell dust into my creations! All I can tell you is it worked great in that Show and in my studio it works even better. And yes if you do not already know I am addicted to the use of Tacky Glue as expressed in My Tacky Love Affair blog. So "WHAT THE HECK IS THIS",does have a reason and a purpose.

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