This weekends brocante unearthed several treasures and today’s post shows one of my favorites. Shell art is a fascinating form of l’art populaire – folk art, and many cultures produced beautiful examples.
However the pieces I see in the French markets are seldom as intricate as this and tend to have a stronger Victorian feel. The dealer explained that this one came from Brittany and that pieces such as this were often crafted by the fishermen’s wives. The imagery reminds me of the the motifs we see on small wedding chests from the same part of France.
It’s lost some of it’s decoration along the way, but it’s “crunchy” look is part of it’s appeal. The background is a tapestry of teeny-tiny shells, the size of a pin head, reminiscent of a Native American sand painting. Glass beads form the red and green areas.
The flower petals were created with miniature clam shaped shells mounted on their edge. I can’t imagine the time and patience involved. I re-glued a couple of the loose shells and as I was positioning them I managed to glue the shell AND the tube of super glue to my finger!