Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gold Painted Sea Shell Charms

I love a good challenge, so I sign up for almost every 'Make something inspired by ____'  that I come across, such as the Photo Response Project at  Artists were encouraged to use one of the five photos provided to create something: a painting, story, etc.  The pieces will be collected and displayed in an exhibit at the Brookly Art Library in New York.

I picked this image because it reminded me of warm spring break trips to Florida.
Every morning, we would walk down to the beach and find a place to lay out towels, then bake in the sun until dinner time.  Because I can't stand to sit still, I've never been good at sunbathing.  As my friends lounged, almost comatose, in headphones  and SPF8, I quietly slipped away to wander the beach and visit air conditioned souvenir shops.
Shelves stacked with postcards, shot glasses, and magnets could hold my attention for hours.  Although I never purchased anything, I lingered at the jewelry counters.  Necklaces featuring delicate gold trimmed seashells were just about everywhere.  Each shell charm was beautifully unique and the combination of high-end metal and dirt cheap shells appealed to me.  The same shells were scattered in the sand just 100 feet away on the beach and free for the taking but the gold trim transformed these shells into something elegant and rare.

With some gold jump rings and gold acrylic paint, I decided to make my own shell charms.  Boxes of pretty shells have been sitting on my bookshelf for years, waiting to be included in a project.   After attaching a ring, I carefully lined the edges and insides with several thick coats of gold paint.
The Arthouse rules specifically ask artists not to send in 3D pieces, so I arranged them on a board- street vendor style- and snapped a picture for the project.
Finished photo submission: 
I love how they turned out!  The acrylic paint sparkles almost like real gold.  They are so pretty, what a perfect way to use all the tiny shells collected on vacation!
I plan to string them all on a long chain and wear them to the beach this summer!

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