The Romance of Shells in Nature and Art Author:Louise Allderdice Travers This book tells the story of how one small and perfect seashell charmed the author into creating a new shell craft and how, when she began collecting shells, she also discovered new worlds of art and nature, of science, legend, and history. — Mrs. Travers makes graceful flower arrangements with shells, which she calls "shell decoupage," and she t... more »ells in detail how you can make shell pictures yourself. But she also has a wealth of other information to offer. She describes her favorite shells and how the ocean creatures that build them live. She explains why it is that seashells wash up in such quantities of the shores of Sanibel, the Florida island where Captain Kidd once buried a quite different kind of treasure.
One of the most learned of all shell collectors was Aristotle himself. Shells have enthralled such men as Leonardo da Vinci, who desiged a spiral stair after studying the structure of a snail shell; the late Frank Lloyd Wright spoke to his students of the "inspired form" of shells.
Decorative shell motifs have recurred in architecture for centuries. They appear in many Spanish churches, in honor of Santiago, St. James, whose emblem is the scallop shell. Painters from Botticelli to Andrew Wyeth have used the shell motif, as have designers and craftsmen of all kinds from Cellini to Chippendale. In Europe, among the most extraordinary feats of baroque and rococo decor are shell rooms and grottos encrusted with designs made of real shells.
In the author's words, "It is fascinating to consider the contribution to the life of the world that the tiny shell has made." This book is the result of Mrs. Travers's many successful lectures on the marvelously varied aspects of shells and shell collecting. Her shell pictures, which she made originally for her own pleasure and as gifts for her daughters and friends, are now sought after by numerous buyers.
Many who have seen her work have started to make shell pictures too. Those who own this book will be tempted to do the same, but the story of shells will prove absorbing whether you choose to work with them, to collect them, or simply to read about them.« less