Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Decorative Shell Art

 The last post featured a painting by Henri Jova entitled “Shell”.  It seems the shell's many curves inspired the painting. Other people have also been inspired by the shapes and colors of shells as evidenced by these objects from the Benton County Historical Society's collection. 

Corvallis fiber artist Salome (Sally) Formiller (1938-2019) used a slice of shell to form an interesting pattern in the bottom of her pine needle and raffia bowl.

A polished mollusk shell provided the pearly surface on which the artist carved a oriental scene of a woman and girl looking out of a house at three men in the garden. The carved figures were then painted gold.  The museum's collection contains a pair of these carved shells; the scenes are mirror images of each other.

Different types of shells cover two of the decorative eggs in the Harper collection.  Tiny shells cover the first and pieces of abalone shell cover the second, which is on display in the hall of the Corvallis Museum.

Do you have any shells or shell-covered items in your house?

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon 

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