|Four Eyes Working on a Shell Primitive Pendant|
I can remember posting a picture last year of the table top full of shells we had collected on various Florida Beaches and people responding, "What are you going to do with all those shells?", a valid question considering our limited space in our RV home.
Well, this is what Doyle does with them, we have been going to museums and studying pre contact clothing and accessories for years now and Finally Doyle has had the time to take a crack at creating some of his own Pre contact Bling.
We needed some accessories for our clothing I am working on for teaching purposes and what was available out there in internet land was daunting to say the least.
Well made, historically accurate pieces made by our friends, Craig Shell Carver and Dan Townsend were way beyond our reach financially for our teaching purposes, but well worth it if you want the best and we recommend them heartily! They are both wonderful people who share their knowledge with anyone who wants to know more about pre contact shell adornment and are true artists in their own right. But we just needed some educational pieces and so we kept looking...
Pieces available on ebay and such are all mostly fakes from foriegn lands claiming to be originals, (funny how all those originals have exactly the same dirty patina on all of them, and if they are a countries true antiquities, why isn't the government after them for selling thier history?) I have to laugh at the descriptions.."Ancient artifacts from Buddhist Monks buried through the ages only to be discovered and featured here on ebay..." Yeah, right. National Geographic is going to be all over that...So anyhooo...
It turns out my talented and wonderful Mate was at one time a Master Goldsmith and it was no trouble at all for him to dust of his engraving skills and make me some Bling from the Woodland Era Native Tribes. He is truly enjoying his new found hobby and is turning out carved Conch and Whelk shells like there is no tomorrow! Here is some of his work...
|Conch and Whelk Shell Pendants he has created this Winter in various stages of completion|
These are large conch shell beads that were very popular in their time, they were actually considered currency among Tribal Peoples, and if so, then we are very rich in deed! They are wonderful to hold and wear, there is nothing quite so nice as a real live shell shaped into something beautiful....
|Conch Shell and Whelk Beads he is working on|
|Finished Conch Shell and Whelk Beads|
|The Master at work outside|
Doyle would like to add to this discourse that he always wears a protective breathing mask when working in shell, except when he is wet sanding, as shown above. Shell dust can shut your lungs down forever, (much like asbestos), so if you do plan on cutting shell, take the proper precautions!
|Outdoor work area where masterpieces are created|
This is just a small sample of the things Doyle has been creating, we collected many totes of proper shell on the beaches of Florida, (a glorious pastime in its own right!), and look forward to may years of creating and showing off his wonderful talents!